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Iconic characters, in Western movies, often present the masculine ideal through functions of dominance—intentionally suppressing traits, such as vulnerability, empathy and intimacy. In Allegories of Masculinity, I explore gender disposition posited as truth by American cinema. Using mid-century film production stills as a guide, I dig into "the illusion of cinema" as part of a personal journey to unearth the myth of masculinity.

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This series honors a "place" that became my pandemic refuge. It's an unremarkable scene—a few overturned adirondak chairs, surrounding a rusty, metal fire pit. But, after each new snowfall, the stage transformed. It reminded me, that even in the midst of fear, loss and isolation, change would surely come. I continue to paint this subject-place, exploring how remembrance changes over time.

In 2017,  I first encountered a Louise Bourgeois’ sculpture (Return to Avenza II ) at the Dia:Beacon Museum. Five days later, I painted my memory of the breathtaking experience.  After nearly a year, I became curious. How did my visual memory of that first experience change over time?  I made a second painting, resulting in the dyptch, Portrait of Louise, 5 days later and Portrait of Louise, 343 days later. These paintings became the catalyst for a larger body of work appraising my visual memory and the unstable sway of time. It recalls four life-changing moments, repression, acceptance and transformation. Each part of a journey, ranging anywhere from a few minutes to almost forty years.

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The American Sideshow series recasts early 20th century sideshow characters from entertainment oddities to docents of cultural and political events.


As international movements take hold and flourish, protests are often reinterpreted by cable news, internet snippets and enigmatic memes. This collaboration explores the desire for direct experience with the Yellow Vest Movement in Paris, France.


Artifacts of the Yellow Vest movement (sound and adornment) are drawn upon to create an empathetic relationship with the movement and its participants. Both artists work from the outside in. One, cocoons in the movement’s symbolic yellow tunic.The other, swims in the sounds of the protests.

Digital video, 2019

Michael Kuehler, Sound

David Kueher, Performance

Rituals of Resistance
Nasty Women Connecticut, New Haven Connecticut

© 2022  David Kuehler

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