McGirk’s work explores the anxious embodiment of western hypermasculinity, and represents the fragility of living out fragmented ideologies. His most recent paintings investigate fantasies of power and privilege performed at hardcore and heavy metal shows by posturing young men.
His paintings sing Rock-and-Roll with praise and distrust—they indulge the fantasy of superstardom while subsequently warning against the dangers of privilege. In these paintings, both spectators and rock stars reimagine themselves as misanthropic antiheroes in their own narratives. However, their exaltation betrays their stories as fragmented and anxious—they are star-struck, delusional, and entirely too eager to sacrifice themselves to the hyper-masculine altar. They loudly rally against the heroic power they secretly long for; they brashly protest the western mythos they inevitably embody. Hoping to feel a sense of belonging, these desperate cartoons entangle their tropes, limbs, and desires into a well-intentioned mess.
Jordan McGirk is an artist working in St. Louis, Missouri.