This study examines how Irish artistic production engages the wider debate concerning masculine identity. It includes 40 color reproductions of paintings by Brian Maguire, Patrick Graham, and Michael Mulcahy. Post-modern artistic representations of male subjectivity are examined through the works of the Irish painters Brian Maguire, Patrick Graham, and Michael Mulcahy. They become the main focus for a cultural critique and reassessment of perceptions of masculinity as it emerges within a particular culture and time. The resonances of this examination carry implications for how men are recognised beyond the boundaries of nation and culture. The debate generated is that the cultural, social, and political changes experienced by Ireland through the course of the twentieth century have had direct impact upon how individual male subjects present, and represent, themselves. Artistic production known as 'neo-expressionism' has allowed such representations to have global impact, and for the questions that are raised to enter different cultural scenarios.
This book operates within a sexual political arena where patriarchal attitudes and assumptions are questioned and redefined by its own nominees; the men who speak for any given culture. The feet that these men speak through the fluid and difficult to control medium of paint allows for the messages they carry to be variously and differently interpreted. They record and represent a male consciousness that is in transition, and it is this which is analysed.