Carhartt Queer

Carhartt Queer

Carhartt Queer - Detail

Carhartt Queer - Detail

Posted on: April 27, 2019
Views: 7941


"Carhartt Queer" addresses some of the issues faced by rural, gay men. Specifically the experience of trying to pass in a hypermasculinized culture. By blending custom printed, faux fur and a mass-produced garment, I blur the lines between gay and straight, rural drees and queer code.

Marc Manke

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MFA Student

Major: Sculpture

Graduation Year: 2019

Artist Statement:

I find pride in a country upbringing, the sacrifices and hardships of family-farm based agriculture, and the simplicity of idyllic narratives. I also take great pride in my gay male identity and celebrate my queer communities. But rurality and queerness are seen as incompatible in our current cultural narratives. From that space of perceived dissonance, I make 3-dimensional and wall based objects that question the authority of the urban constructions of rural queer identities and narratives, educate an urban audience on country realities to create empathy, attempt to make sense of the forces that shape my identity and the world around me, and represent a gay male identity in flux. That is my ultimate goal as an artist - to broch that layer of misunderstanding, misrepresentation, or dissonance and connect my viewers to one another.
Sewing is an integral part of my practice due to its ability to mix material, incorporate objects into forms, and bridge flat and voluminous space and surface design. Patching together masculine, queer, agrarian, rural, spiritual, racial, socio economic, and geographical influences, I quilt, sew, design, and assemble disparate materials and readymade objects into garments that mimic the patchwork identities and communicate about the intersection of conflicting and synergistic personal, familial, communal, and regional identities. Using textile design and sculptural forms, Manke explores the myriad factors shaping the identities of rural gay men and the communities they live in contrast to our established notions of queerness and rurality. In his most recent works, ​Carhartt Queer ​and ​PrEPpare​ Manke uses camouflage textile designs, male garments, and commercial presentation strategies to address issues ranging from passing in hypermasculinized (and sometimes hostile) country communities, gay dating and friendship, healthcare access, and HIV prevention in rural America.