"Macho" at Cross MacKenzie Gallery Saturday, Dec. 22

Thousands of dissertations could be written on the topics explored in “Macho: Considering Masculinity”—and surely they have been. So a small gallery exhibit may barely scratch the surface of gender studies. But with help from a baker’s dozen of mostly local artists, Cross MacKenzie Gallery has made a game effort. National Geographic contributor Skip Brown offers a good-natured interpretation of masculinity with his picture of a boy waist-deep in water, somewhat goofily trying to pump up his manhood by flexing his biceps. The exhibit’s two standouts, however, are sculptors Joe Hicks and Joel D’Orazio. Hicks plays with gender stereotypes by crafting oversized items you might find in a garage—like spark plugs—and decorating them with a pattern you’d more likely find on your grandmother’s teacups. Meanwhile, D’Orazio crafts a full-size loveseat that, from a distance, looks like it’s made of soft, shag-carpet material, but is really made of hard, orange, insulated steel cable. It’s not all that comfortable, but suitable for an extreme man cave.

The show is on view noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays to Jan. 5 at Cross MacKenzie Gallery, 2026 R St. NW. Free. (202) 333-7970. crossmackenzie.com.

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