How to navigate through life when you’ve grown to be a man outside the mold of the white heterosexual male? J. A. Juvani’s exhibition ONE MAN SHOW is an exploration of the ideal male in the 21st century. The works in the exhibition aim to question, break and alter these symbols of masculinity. This is accomplished through drag and queer aesthetics combined with humor and feminism.
The exhibition includes photography, video, audio and installation art. J. A. Juvani often acts as the model for his own work. His poses are like small, meticulously prepared performances. The works reflect the artist’s own struggle of coping with his assigned gender role.
J. A. Juvani does not shy away from the transgressive in his examination of a variety of taboos. He unapologetically bares his body and soul for all to see in every piece. Juvani’s art is bluntly, mischievously and shamelessly political. His unconventional images present an unruly and humorous view of gender and sexuality. This playful sense of provocation invites laughter while making a stand for matters of grave importance.
One of the exhibition’s key themes is toxic masculinity. This restrictive view of manhood is defined by confrontations, toughness and violence. This toxic masculinity raises boys into men who feel undermined by sensitivity and open emotional expression. It maintains a consensus of what a ’real’ man should be and reinforces traditional gender roles that force men into a narrow and one-dimensional role in society.
J. A. Juvani (born 1988 in Ylitornio) has graduated as a visual artist from the Tampere University of Applied Sciences in 2013. He has also received a Master’s Degree in visual arts from Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts in 2015. He lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. He is the 34th consecutive recipient of the Young Artist of the Year award. The award includes a stipend, exhibitions at the Tampere Art Museum and Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova as well as a printed publication to accompany the exhibition. The award is granted annually by the Tampere Art Museum.