Chévere is what comes to mind when I see the powerful figure of Hercules represented in a piece of marble from Pergamon. The way Hercules has been represented throughout history is awe inspiring, and while I am drawn to the excitement of the powerful male figure, I wish to insert the sort humanity that is lacking in so many depictions. Hercules has maintained his status for thousands of years, a timeless image of masculinity. My work is about exploring what masculinity really is, looking beyond the exterior Herculean image so many men are taught to project. From my wife I have learned what it really is for a man to be Chevere. This piece is about the process of learning how to be the partner I want to be, and how communicating in a more open and meaningful way without falling into complacency can be as challenging as one of the labors Hercules faced. The pose is derived from Guido Reni’s 1617 painting “Hercules on the Pyre,” but in my interpretation, I want to ask the viewer to take an introspective look into their own life and ideas about what it takes to be a man.
- Brett F. Harvey
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