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Blending traditions of the Old Masters with contemporary modes of representation, Patrick Earl Hammie’s paintings explore the tension between power and vulnerability. Adopting body language and narrative to reinvent and remix ideal beauty and heroic nudity, his portraits examine how male artists have historically represented themselves and the nude. Perhaps more than any other form of image-making, figurative painting is often read as a mirror of the time in which it is made; the canvas might be uniquely valued as a type of sociohistorical document. In this vein, his work is situated in the discourse of contemporary art that questions and present visual alternatives to historical masculine traditions, constructions of identity, gender politics and race. Coming of age in a generation that is post-Civil Rights and post-Second Wave Feminism, Patrick’s monumental paintings symbolize his shadow-selves and visualize the effort to reconcile inner duality, transcend typical masculine ideals and yield to new realities that require constant compromise and change.
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