He's a Monster of a Man
An exploration of masculinity and athleticism, He's a Monster of a Man by Oakland-based artist Eli Thorne examines the ways sports culture, energy drinks, and popular culture affect notions of masculinity through an emphasis on aggression, physical prowess, and extreme behavior. Through his work, Thorne, a trans male artist, negotiates and reconciles what it means to be male, both from his own definitions of masculinity and what the larger culture depicts and reinforces.
For He's a Monster of a Man, Thorne creates a large sculptural installation that mimics the form of an athlete's trophy, underscoring the ways society rewards and articulates "manliness" through athleticism. Punctuated with motifs from energy and sports drinks, the installation will explore the idea of exhaustion and overextension. Inspired by advertisements that depict athletes pushing the limits of their bodies, Thorne is interested in the figure of the overworked athlete and the strain their bodies sustain over time. He's a Monster of a Man takes a critical look at sports culture, the toxicity that can sometimes occur, and how they impact how we envision masculinity.
Eli Thorne is an Oakland based hybrid artist born in Harrogate, England and raised in Santa Cruz, California. He received his BFA from UC Berkeley, and his MFA from Mills College. His work has shown in a variety of Bay Area and international spaces including Incline Gallery, Southern Exposure, SOMArts, Worth Ryder Gallery, Mills College Art Museum, Queer Prophecies Film Festival (Montreal, Quebec), and Ravnedans Festival (Kristiansand, Norway).