'The images on show are well-composed, strongly executed and grab the viewer's attention. They focus eyes and minds on Hemingwayesque subjects. So feminised is post-modern Western Culture that "male" and "bad" are often – let's be honest – confused. When did you last see the noun "masculinity" without the adjective "toxic", for example? Men like those in Hilaire's images only feature in plays, movies, art or even advertising as threats – as "bad guys". And even though they're often just like our beloved dads or brothers, we don't seem to question that much.
So maybe a surprised reaction is necessary and overdue? Don't misunderstand us. We're not saying the exhibition was meant (or that we see it) as a lecture, sermon or battle cry. Just that, perhaps, the very notion of manhood needs a fresh look?'....................................'
ART KORNER published an article about Hilaire's exhibition TOUGH MAN on 12 August.
“Act tough and hide your weakness” – a rigid social construct that has been subconsciously imbued in the minds of most men leaves many feeling trapped all over the world. The pressure of presenting a tough exterior is immense and can have devastating effects on the health and well being of men who have been forced by the society to bury their emotions.....................'
This is doubtless in part because of his background in role-play in Second Life. Creating and inhabiting a character is very much an artform it itself; bringing that character to life such that they can be believed and interacted with requires a strength of imagination and willingness to emote and remain in character. Coming from that background gives Hilaire, I would suggest, a deeper connection with his characters, and this is evidenced in the twelve images presented in this selection........'
Thanks so much Diomita, appreciate a lot!
'The exhibtion consits of 13 pictures. And at this gallery the pictures can develop strength as they are mirrored on the floor. What are the pictures about? Not surprise, they all show a tough man as the main object. Hilaire shows his avatar as a fighter, as a soldier in varoius epochs, as strong tough man. Other pictures are in our epoch and just show the tough man, not a soldier or fighter.
But there’s also some wit: one picture shows him wearing a gun pointing at a little angel with a bow. Hilaire also shows the other, softer side. The side that a tough man tries to hide as it doesn’t fit to the cliché: playing a violin, or listening music while looking out into the nature, lost in thoughts.
'Tough man' by Hilaire Beaumont is the kind of exhibtion you rarely see in Second Life. The pictures are impressive and thoughtfully made and selected. Thank you for your art, Hilaire.'