Dissecting the Patriarchy: Toxic Masculinity vs. Male Sensitivity

By Celia Mohedano Sanchez

I’ve been obsessed with creating artwork that highlights the existence of male vulnerability for some time now. I believe it is essential for the destruction of toxic patriarchal values that surround us to give male sensitivity more visibility. 

As a feminist woman, I appreciate and understand that the fight for equality between genders often forgets to defend men’s right to feel and express themselves out in the open. 

I have recently launched a collection of illustrations called ‘MAN.’ I created this project to comment on the patriarchy’s archaic expectations, focusing on separating the differences between toxic and non-toxic behaviours in men. These two illustrations praise the way in which the TV show ‘Mayans M.C.’ has chosen to illustrate their male characters; instead of portraying them as hyper-masculine and unconsciously violent, (as it would be usual in the context of gangs/cartels) the show portrays a much healthier, realistic representation of men.

These men show their feelings out in the open, especially to each other as their brotherhood defends loyalty, honour, justice, family and love. It challenges what we would expect of a usual series about ‘gangsters’, such as hyper-violence without thought, lack of respect towards women, lack of emotional intelligence, extreme glorification of drugs, alcohol and sex. I intend to challenge the ‘traditional’ masculinity/manhood concept by exploring how male beauty and vulnerability are currently portrayed, and how that is changing. I want my artwork to give men that safe space they are lacking to be whatever they wish to be, or at least give them a non-judgemental, empowering space where they feel they are welcome to just exist. Boys cry too, and that’s fucking ok. 

~Celia x Mohe~

<meta charset="utf-8"><strong>Celia Mohedano Sanchez</strong>
Celia Mohedano Sanchez

I’m a freelance illustrator, graphic designer and painter. I was born and raised in Spain then moved to the UK at 16 years old. While I was over there, I specialized in fine art, graphic design and visual communication at school. I then moved on to do a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design and after that I went on to do my Bachelor of Arts in Illustration. Since then, I have been freelancing as an illustrator, graphic designer and painter.

I moved back to Spain in the beginning of 2020 and after the pandemic hit, I decided to kickstart my own business and establish myself as a freelance artist. A year later, I am happily running a small one woman show from the studio I have put together at home. I do everything on my own ~ from packing orders to organising delivery, shop and website building, communication with clients, my own branding, marketing and promotion as well as all the creative designing and art production. 

My artwork has always been inspired by activism, feminism, literature, music, poetry and events in my life. If I had to highlight something that always inspires me though I would probably choose the female voice, body, beauty and energy. I worship women because they are a constant source of strength, inspiration, beauty and spirituality in my life. I love capturing women’s beauty in my artwork and empowering their inner fiery goddesses.