international painting annual 6 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Martin Swift
Washington DC, District of Columbia

detail image


My work explores the nuances of masculinity in America. Due to unhealthy societal pressure to exhibit traditionally masculine traits like strength, aggression, dominance, courage and honor, males in the United States objectify not only other genders but themselves as well. This creates something that I refer to as the Paradox of Manliness.

Societal objectification can range from body image issues and eating disorders to unhealthy competition, harassment and violence. Pressures to adhere to a specific physical aesthetic leave men feeling inadequate. The expectation to confront the world impulsively and aggressively contributes to a cultural rejection of male emotion. My work depicts a spectrum of un-idyllic masculinity and emotional transparency. The paintings celebrate flesh, body modification, stretch marks, and scars.

My work is a direct response to this Paradox of Manliness, an acknowledgment of what lies beyond masculine.





born: 1990, Providence RI



Carnegie Mellon University, BFA, 2012


selected awards/honors

Indevidual Artist Award, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, 2015
Panel Chair for the Large Organization Grant, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, 2014


selected solo or two-person exhibits

Hole in the Sky Gallery: Mrtnswft is Dead, Washington, DC, 2015
Above the Bike Shop: The Paradox of Masculinity, Washington, DC 2013
Image Box: Synchronous Orbit, Pittsburgh, PA, 2013
The College Inn Project: Emerging Artist Vol.1 Martin Swift, Pittsburgh, PA, 2012


selected group shows

Nina Freudenheim Gallery: A Body of Work, Buffalo, NY, 2014
Hierarchy Art Space: Swatch Room Salon, Washington, DC, 2014
Foundry Gallery: Hot Hot Hot, Washington, DC, 2013



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