Joshua Brinlee is an interdisciplinary visual artist and educator. He was born in Morgan City, Louisiana, and raised in Franklin, Tennessee. He received his M.F.A. in 2012 from Memphis College of Art, in Memphis, TN, and holds the position of Assistant Professor Foundations Coordinator in the Art and Art History Department at The University of Mississippi. Brinlee utilizes photography, image scans, collage, and other digital processes to construct images that investigate appropriation, originality, gender, identity, and sexuality. His research interests are varied but often focus on the discourse surrounding queerness in the South. More of his work can be viewed at joshuabrinlee.com.
The images below are from my most recent series, “Masculine Projections”
Societal expectations dictate that men should be stoic and dominant projections of virility, especially in the South. Failing to meet these prescribed expectations of masculinity, you are characterized as weak, unmanly, and effeminate.
In the constructed images, I project stereotypical archetypes of Southern men appropriated from Tumblr and Google searches onto myself, as I attempt to “conform” to their postures and become their character. As a man who does not prescribe to the heteronormative societal expectations of Southern masculinity, I utilize my body as the screen and subject. My attempt to “fit in” to these types is a performative illusion. Areas of the projections are unaligned, pixelated, and disproportionate, while other areas blend perfectly with the appropriated imagery. The imperfections and clarity of the photos represent a struggle to conform to traditional notions of masculinity, while at the same time attempting to reject them.