“This piece is grounded in a style I call ‘Dorian Gothic.’ I age and distort my subjects to serve as a metaphor for various amoral experiences. Also titled The Man in the Red Dress, it is a self portrait that examines hyper masculinity and how it affects individuals in the Black community. The red represents the aggression and violence stemmed from the need to exaggerate masculine beliefs. I depict myself as an older man, weathered by stoicism and decaying from machismo, finally able to be vulnerable.”
—AS TOLD TO BENJAMIN LEGER
About the artist
Mike Weary is a self-taught artist specializing in oil painting on large wood panels. A Baton Rouge resident with roots in New Orleans, he describes his style as Southern-gothic-meets-Black-expressionism, due to the dark emotion conveyed in his subjects. His work is inspired by the unique experiences people of color have in America. He is a resident artist at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s Cary Saurage Community Art Center. His current focuses are original works, live events and custom commissioned pieces. mikewearyart.com
This article was originally published in the July 2022 issue of 225 magazine.