In Gabriel Garcia’s show, Toxic Masculinity, I was very interested in the topic being expressed through his work. Especially in this generation, social conventions on gender roles are beginning to be challenged as feminism rises and educates others everywhere. Feminism, the fight for equal rights for both sexes, is still a controversial topic for most but is becoming a topic that must be discussed for everyone. Toxic masculinity shows that we must not only educate young girls about feminism but we must educate young boys as well.
Interviewing Garcia, he said that he was inspired to create these works through personal experience. When I asked if he personally went through toxic masculinity, he said that he found it almost everywhere through observation; he would see it as he hung out with his guy friends, when he would observe men with women in his family, and even within himself between other women.
He says that this issue is important to him because it also tackles other issues as well, such as identity, sexuality, gay rights, gun rights, and even animal rights. His work tried to answer the dark side of masculinity and how anyone could be toxic enough by the social norm to abuse someone, especially since men have been raised by this toxic culture their entire lives.
Garcia has been drawing/painting since the first grade and he believes that “it was not a decision, but a do.” He is a third year in the CSULB Masters Program, so he will be leaving this semester. He plans to find a job in the arts field, most likely through teaching. He plans to teach in Texas because that is closer to family.