Exhibition on Male Identity: 7/20/13

Michael Freed
Jul 6, 2013 1:33AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJuly 5, 2013Contact:  Michael Freed, 505-670-9276 (Artist and Curator) [email protected]

Offroad  Productions, a new alternative showcase for contemporary artists producing works outside the box.2891-B Trades West Road (off Siler), Santa Fe, NMpresents:

MAN MADE New works by five New Mexico artists:  Richard Campiglio, Michael Freed, Adam Rosen, Paulo Tavares, and Triesch Voelker.

Opening Event: July 20th, 5-8pm

By appointment July 21-27.

SANTA FE, NM-  This exhibit seeks to explore the continuum of masculinity and "male identity" while dispelling the status quo perception that men are simple, myopic creatures who crave only food, sex and sleep.  This isn’t a trite questionnaire from Cosmopolitan with empty headlines about “what men want”.  This show is an exploration by modern men who are seeking self identity, navigating the perils of rigorous societal definitions of what has defined men through historic roles, and arriving at places informed by our contemporary concepts of who today's man are

 In Susan Faludi's ground breaking book, "Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man", she speaks of a crisis of identity that American men are coming to terms with.  Long held notions of masculinity and "maleness" are being challenged by women, minorities, and the GLBT movement claiming equality within the established power structure which most men are not used to sharing.  This challenge is clearly illustrated in our political and socio-economic interactions as those formerly outside the historically male-dominant culture are asserting their equality.  For American men, it is critical to evolve or die along with the traditional notions of male identity as defined by their old power structure.  A paradigm shift in what it means to be a "man" is vital in these times as old ideas give way to the new reality.  

The works by these five men through a variety of media are about dissecting the mythological residue of antiquated roles.  Modern men are more conscious of their physical shortcomings and strengths in a way that women have been forever.  Today's men are more concerned with aesthetics, physicality, and authenticity than their predecessors.  Today's men are seeking new ways of being "male" in strong yet nurturing ways through being better fathers, husbands, and partners.   Old definitions of masculinity found in heroic tales, portrayed in cinematic action films, and illustrating testosterone driven ad campaigns are being challenged by notions of a more well-rounded and energy-balanced man who can live more authentically and compassionately.

This is the inaugural show for Offroad Productions, a quarterly exhibition venue featuring artists who are creating work outside the traditional gallery purview and promoting the acquisition of these works by collectors who are interested in supporting contemporary artists working outside the box.  Founded by Michael Freed, Offroad Productions is an attempt at filling the void which has developed in the art arena suffering in today's economy.  Freed says, "What I've noticed in the last few years is a real shift in bricks and mortar galleries from New York to L.A. towards 'safer', more 'traditional' work which delivers sales, and away from art that is more challenging and thought provoking.  While I don't fault the gallery system for this, they're simply responding to tough economic choices, this move is leaving a lot of artists who are doing amazing, relevant, interesting, and creative work… out in the cold with no representation."

"I decided I could take about two thirds of my studio and once every 3 months, turn it into a week-long exhibition.  I'm not interested in being a gallery.  I'm more interested in devoting some energy to promoting really interesting and challenging work by artists I believe in, through an event-oriented venue.  We'll do opening parties, then maintain by-appointment hours for a week after the opening.  Any collectors who are interested in acquiring art I show, will work directly with the artist, not me.   For artists like me, it's a time to think and work outside the box.  Since most galleries are not representing this kind of work, we need to figure out how to get it seen.  I love this kind of work, I create this kind of work, and I believe it needs to be seen and supported.  I'll curate the summer shows, but I'm going to arrange curators I know and admire to come in for the other 3 shows per year and present their own ideas and vision within this context.  I want to feature a variety of work and vision, so I am going to tap some extraordinary curatorial talent we have in our town to keep things fresh and interesting.  I'm really excited to see where this goes.  I'm certainly not in it for the money.  This is my way of giving back to Santa Fe which has supported me for almost 20 years now.  If I can just cover my costs, I'll keep producing these shows as long as I can."

The Man Made show opens July 20th with an event from 5-8pm at the Offroad Productions site, 2891-B Trades West Road just off Siler Road.  

Michael Freed