Satirist's Statement

– Self Portrait –"When I am dead, this
will be the truth."
Size has always been an American goal: The Empire State Building, the Cadillac, Cinerama—bigger, stronger, faster. We have internalized this concept, and our appearance has become our obsession; this obsession has become a subculture, permeating the world, crossing every class and ethnic barrier.

Although the concept of Physical Culture has been with us since the dawn of civilization, it grew dramatically after most physical labor had been eliminated. That concept initially had to do with health, the ideal shape and perfection.

This is no longer so; size is now the objective.

Muscles are worn like jewelry, ornamental, often used for nothing, desired for their own sake. They are fanatically sought, chemically developed, swelling and defining the body. At one time, women strove to remain “as soft and as pink as a nursery,” rejecting any indication of muscle tone, now many seek the muscular definition of men.

In my work I have attempted to spotlight the narcissism of our age, the same way Reginald Marsh
observed a very raw New York, or Thomas Hart Benton chronicled the leering innuendo of the Midwest.
I've been influenced by the Greeks, Michaelangelo and Paul Cadmus combined in a sort of ballet-from-hell with the iconography of Gary Cooper/John Wayne westerns and the machismo all boys were told they should possess.

Our obsession has become a religion, and millions worship at the gym, embracing equipment that
promises cruel, unusual punishment. Where imperfections stubbornly resist, there is always plastic surgery and liposuction.

We worship at the gym, and in our shrines we have placed mirrors . . .

© , Tom Foral.