Janet Winkie


Through this thesis I explore how human perceptions are made regarding masculinity and the impact that apparel and environment have on the male psyche and physique. I perceive the function of men's apparel as providing a hinge, or entry point into the male identity, ultimately examining themes such as gender roles, sexuality, social class and age. In this thesis exploration, I intend to examine the male physique and embody it using male and female byproducts, found objects and accessories.

Incorporating themes such as space and place, this practice of assemblage and installation offers the "staging" of male-themed spaces, providing dialogue pertaining to the performance of male sexuality, allowing new ways of seeing how men are socially identified. The fabricated environments I have constructed in this body of work allow the viewer to contemplate their familiarity with surroundings and question their fabricated identities. This body of work does not intend to recreate environments, rather staging a moment of male existence.

Through the process of making, I focus on male-themed content and utilize my female role as a medium or working tool. As a mixed media artist, found objects are deconstructed, altered or manipulated, causing a loss of function, yet ultimately leading to a rebirth of materials and meaning. Through the use of apparel as a tool, and space as a format, I want to evoke strong reactions related to the construction and the assimilation of the male identity. Through this exploration I studied contemporary installation artists such as Ann Hamilton and Robert Gober who provided evidence of utilizing apparel as a symbolic medium through which the viewer can achieve a deeper understanding of the metaphysical impact of both mind and body.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Masculinity in art; Men's clothing--Pictorial works; Installations (Art)--Themes, motives

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Fine Arts Studio (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Art (CIAS)


Tom Lightfoot

Advisor/Committee Member

Don Arday

Advisor/Committee Member

Amos Scully


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at N8222.M38 W46 2009


RIT – Main Campus