To celebrate Father's Day, I wanted to feature an artist whose work honors masculinity while also turning it on its head. Crochet artist Nathan Vincent was raised in the Midwest and later attended art school in California before moving to New York City, where he found his true calling: questioning gender norms through working in a very cozy medium.
The works shown here focus on the contradiction between medium and subject matter. The objects created were inspired by memories of attempts to be masculine. Men I have known spent much of their time in the garage with tools getting greasy and doing the heavy-duty lawn work. They watched Sunday afternoon football on their recliners with the remote in hand. My uncle was a body builder, which to me was the physical epitome of masculinity. I remember my father getting home from work, propping his briefcase on the bed and removing the paperwork. And, I distinctly remember longing to be tall enough to use the urinal in the men's restroom like the big guys. By crocheting the objects that are linked to these masculine ideas, I am breaking down the barrier of traditional gender permissions. The objects are no longer rough and manly, but soft and inviting. They evoke the feminine. The nontraditional sculpting process of crochet allows me to draw attention to the challenges of defining gender identities.
See more of Nathan's work in the slideshow, and learn more about the artist in this video on Road Trip Nation. Through June 26, catch his work in the exhibition The Mysterious Content of Softness at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Seattle.