Mythology of Masculinity

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© Bryan Volta
Mythology of Masculinity
Curated by: Joel Kuennen

202 S State ST
Chicago, IL 60604
June 19th, 2014 - August 15th, 2014

Michigan Ave/Downtown
masculinity, boxing, sculpture, photography, mixed-media, installation, conceptual


Mythology of Masculinity:

The repetition of abuse during physical training inspired the photographs and objects from Mythology of Masculinity; they are visual and physical manifestations of the changes induced by aggression. The intent of this project was to convey that aggression and strain placed on a particular object by manipulating its physical appearance and allowing its aesthetics to conform to the abuse it endures. The sculptures compress the phenomenon of training, apparatus, and boxer into one entity. The photographs attempt to capture specific elements that convey the brutality associated with physical improvement, specifically for an improved appearance of power.


Bryan Volta is a visual artist working in themes of masculinity and its discursive mythologies. Born in Cincinnati, OH to a blue collar family, Bryan grew up building things; his current practice incorporates sculpture and photography, which often evolve into installations. For the past twelve years Bryan has worked conducting sleep research on human subjects while developing his artistic practice. He will be collaborating with artist Jenyu Wang at ACRE Residency, Summer 2014.

Artist Statement:

I create sculptures and photographs, filtered through idealized male interests that reflect on the continuity between exertion and objectification. The objects operate as temporal and visceral manifestations of psychological regression as I deconstruct my own masculinity. The materiality of my sculptures is central in my approach to execute an idea, which I then abstract by pushing the object’s function to juxtapose its meaning. I use industrial materials such as concrete, rubber and wood to enhance both their original form and the illusions created by manipulation. These alternative forms present an illusion through physical manipulation of what is considered male-gendered subject matter.

About ArtSlant Exhibition Series

This installation is part of the ArtSlant Prize Series. One Juried Winner from the six rounds of the competition are offered the opportunity to exhibit their work through the Chicago Loop Alliance’s Pop-Up Art Loop program. The ArtSlant Prize is an annual competition where artists from around the world submit their work to a panel of arts professionals. At the end of the competition 4 artists from the Juried Winners pool receive cash awards and are selected to exhibit at a contemporary art fair.