Nathan Dube

My work expands on my interest in childhood play, by exploring its relationship to humor, aggression, and how the contemporary adult male identity is constructed in American culture.  The work uses childhood pranks and toys, reinterpreted as high-end adult objects, to highlight the aggressive and sometimes violent ways in which men interact with other men.  The craftsmanship affords the object a level of authority, convincing the viewer that each piece is the result of years of industrial research and development for actual products.  At the same time, this authority is subverted by the absurdity of each piece’s function.  These eccentric toys comment on the absurd lengths men will sometimes go to in order to recapture their youth and define their male identity.  My new work furthers this exploration of masculinity and identity by using characters from movies and popular culture along with spit wad shooters and toys to highlight the differences between the way masculinity was represented to my father’s generation and how it has been portrayed to mine.

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