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Open Access Thesis
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
The paintings that comprise Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain: Hindsight in 2020 are the output of my research and artistic practice at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. These paintings make visible the complex experiences and misperceptions of men in contemporary society. My intent was to create paintings that bring light to some of the darker aspects of manhood and rework phobias about manhood and male homosexuality through self-deprecation. This reworking is accomplished through the integration of disparate ideas and images, including perception, location, and exteriority, into compositions wherein representation and portraiture (specifically self- portraiture) make visible particular psychological states and hidden impulses attributed to men: the torment of failure, or the desire for power and sex.
Autobiography and confessions can become the best mirrors for deeper forms of self-discovery. One can be both aggressive and protected while remaining effective and hidden. The work, charming or terrifying as it may be, questions the democracies of viewership, privacy, censorship and interpersonal relationships that can exist within a multicultural society. These paintings represent my own understanding of manhood, identity and sexual orientation; the ways one shields oneself from others, develops modes of self-preservation and transcends life's inherent suffering.
Murphy, Kenneth, "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain: Hindsight in 2020" (2020). Masters Theses. 979.