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German Artist Frida Chin’s Illustration Turns the Male Gaze onto Masculinity

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German Artist Frida Chin’s Illustration Turns the Male Gaze onto Masculinity

19 October 2021

Her illustrations are almost comical, bold, striking and brutally authentic. Frida started posting her digital and crayon studies of masculinity, under the name Fetishized Matrix, during the 2020 lockdowns. Taking their inspiration from contemporary pornography, these drawings see two straight friends masturbating together, a chubby man studying himself in the mirror, and ‘fat daddies’ cuddling up to one another.

“I noticed that porn has always been focusing on capturing female bodies and facial expressions, which are a way of objectifying women,” says Frida. “Therefore, I try to stand from a woman’s perspective, objectifying and observing men’s bodies and emotions. My work shows not only toxic masculinity but also the emotion, vulnerability and sadness of men.”

While the illustrations highlight the probelemaic natures of masculine power – specifically through the relationship with sex – they also highlight the disorders expereicned by men and women aliek. This can be seen in a piece titled ‘Everyone’s a victim’ where a fat man sees a skinnier reflection in the mirror.

Other, more ambiguous messages can be seen in the presence of flowers. Not traditionally a symbol of masculinity, floral motifs can be found growing out of characters’ backs, in the place of penises and tap heads, and even on computer screens in place of pornography. It’s a clever symbol that subverses notions of traditional gender binaries.



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