Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art



First Reader/Committee Chair

Annie Buckley


I take a critical view of sociopolitical and cultural issues dealing with homoeroticism andgay politics. I explore gender theories in order to further understand what it means to bemasculine or feminine and how it affects my placement in society. I use art as a tool forexpressing sexual freedom while questioning traditional sexual identity. I'm interested in exploring ideas of the oppressor and the oppressed, and how power becomes an inevitable force (in every society) that creates a hierarchy, consequently establishing control. But what is power? According to various definitions, power is an entity that possesses and or exercises authority or influence. I want to focus on this idea of exercising authority, which one can argue we need, but why? To prevent chaos or is it to control a society? What about exercising influence? Do we need an influence exercised upon us? Or does that make us subjected to another person's subjective point of views? These are questions that I directly or indirectly ask with my work in relationship to gender, gender roles, and sexual orientation. I am interested in Judith Butler's theory in performing gender, and how in performing gender, one assumes social hierarchy of power depending on what gender we are performing. If I am a man performing as a man then I am treated differently by society than if I am a woman performing as a woman. But what happens if I am a man performing as a man who prefers men as lovers, or a woman who prefers other woman as lovers? In what context is this situation accepted by our society? And is it different for men and women? And why? What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be a woman, within the context of performance? Then taking it a step further and argue that we are all performing subjective ideas constructed by social norms.