The Perfect Gentleman is the third of a series of collaborative exhibitions held in London by Project Art Divvy and Rossi & Rossi, and curated by Zahra Khan. This partnership aims to support and cultivate interest in a new generation of artists from Pakistan. We are extremely grateful to the Rangoonwala Foundation for their generous support towards this exhibition and the previous instalment in the series.
This exhibition seeks to challenge established archetypes of manliness and, in particular, toxic masculinity. Narratives throughout literature and history have depicted daring, brave men as the ideal: men who have stood up for their beliefs, defended their women, and demanded the respect of their peers and subordinates. These are strong men with an entrenched fear of emotional vulnerability, and who follow the adage, “boys don’t cry”. Similar antiquated references continue to pervade contemporary culture. Through their bold, diverse artworks, the artists in this exhibition respond to the prescribed tenets of manliness, including the behavioural and physical attributes of historically accepted macho bravado.