Toby Raine is an Auckland-based artist currently undertaking doctoral studies at Elam School of Fine Arts. Toby’s current body of work presents a series of painterly portraits of male figures. These works will be showcased in his solo exhibition ManCrush, at Gus Fisher Gallery. Toby’s paintings celebrate the male icon, not as a patriarchal form of oppression or chauvinism, but a tribute to maleness, a subject seemingly unfavourable today. This series relates to the father, the magician, the rock god, the messiah, the prophet and the pride of facial hair that is part of the primary composition of the male sex.
Toby also investigates identity considering the primordial or the predecessor, investigating how men fashion their masculinity on historic examples. He reflects on influential and infamous artists and musicians, and how their image and ego affect his own identity.
ManCrush is a tongue in cheek tribute to maleness and his own personal elevation, placing himself among the ‘greats’.