Lee Devonish | Art About Men And Money

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Art about men and money: the female gaze

In 2011 I focused my visual art practice on the subject of men, masculinity and the role of the male model in art. This came about as the result of my studies during my BA in Fine Art, but it's still a central concern to me; it seems more and more relevant as we process the manner in which women have relentlessly been objectified in real life as well as in visual culture.

 

Art about men

The point of making art about men is not to objectify one gender, but to show how the simple act of looking in the other direction makes so many people uneasy, when it should be as pure a visual experience as any.

   

My husband is my main model for all contemporary works (2014 onwards). His interest in bodybuilding aligns perfectly with my interest in the visual culture of the body.

 

Art about money

In 2014 I started to study money in conceptual as well as practical terms.

This led to developing an alternate identity as a personal finance blogger, but also to wanting to find a way to integrate my disparate fields of interest into my artwork.

 

Money as an artistic concept

Money as a concept is utterly fascinating, as it sends out so many barbed roots into our collective consciousness, informing us as to what is valuable and shaping (or skewing) our morality - but it also makes perfect sense that I would turn to examining another 'shortcode' for power, as money is so often associated with masculinity.

 

Our uneasy relationship with discussing money

Just mention money and you'll be misunderstood by most people - your motives may seem fishy and your cred as a serious artist be called into question. Yet this is exactly why art about money is so powerful and unsettling, and needs to be explored.

 

Men and money

The visual language surrounding men and money binds them up so tightly that it seems entirely natural that the two should go together. What does the stereotypical image of a stockbroker look like, for example? In making art about men and money, separately, I hope to ask why we assume masculinity and wealth to be interlinked, and why we place such weight on both.
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