Larissa Bates both celebrates the male gender identity within the history of art while struggling to disassemble heteronormative understandings. As a way to foreground these issues, Larissa has assembled a motley cast of idiosyncratic characters, all of her own invention. Like a method actor, Larissa has delved deep within the psychis of her creations, their implications and motivations. Set within the backdrop of expressive pastoral scenes, influenced by the work of Nicholas Poussin, hoards of fantasy creations lead their grandiose dramas. Larissa recounts the struggles of her imagined MotherMen, Lederhosen Boys, and Little Napoleons in an epic practice not unlike Henry Darger’s warring Vivian Girls. Her current body of work, “Just Hustle and Muscle” is on view at the Monya Rowe Gallery in New York, from now until October 18th.