VALUEMAN, 2008
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
80 x 23 x 6 inches
$7,000.




NAFTAMAN, 2008
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
80 x 23 x 6 inches
$7,000.




E MAN, 2009
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
80 x 23 x 6 inches
$7,000.




A MAN, 2009
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
80 x 23 x 6 inches
$7,000.




F MAN, 2007
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
80 x 23 x 6 inches
$7,000.

Detail of: F MAN, 2009





SWEATERMAN 5, 2008
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
80 x 23 x 6 inches
$7,000




W MAN, 2007
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
80 x 23 x 6 inches
$7,000.




RIBBED, 2009
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
80 x 23 x 6 inches
$7,000.



ARGYLEMAN, 2007
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
80 x 26 x 6 inches
$7,000.




SWEATERMAN 4, 2007
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
80 x 26 x 6 inches
$7,000.




EVERY-ANY-NO MAN, 2005
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
120 x 26 x 6 inches
$8,000.



Y MAN 2, 2006
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
80 x 23 x 6 inches
$7,000.

detail Y MAN 2:






BOBBLEMAN, 2006
Hand knit acrylic and buttons on hanger
80 x 23 x 6 inches
$7,000.

detail BOBBLEMAN:





TWO GUN KID, 2006
Hand knit acrylic yarn with wood hanger
76 x 30 x 4 inches
$7,000.

detail TWO GUN KID:






Y-MAN, 2005
Hand knit acrylic and buttons on hanger
80 x 23 x 6 inches
$7,000.




SWEATERMAN, 2005
Hand knit acrylic and buttons
80 x 24 x 6 inches
$7,000.




BATMAN 2, 2005
Hand knit acrylic and buttons on hanger
80 x 25 x 6 inches
$7,000.


"Newport works in and around an arena which, no matter how hip, still must be considered under the particular jurisdiction of the adolescent male: comics and the comic-book hero. However, he subverts the obvious appeal of violent conflict between forces for good and evil by accenting the decorative aspect of comic work via embroidery (over select faces and details) and through descriptions of a kinder, gentler alternate hero. The artist's use of needle craft, typically considered well within the realm of "women's work," establishes a challenging relationship between the young man implied by these works, the voice of popular culture/media, and a father's voice." - Anna Wilson




DAREDEVIL, 2003
Hand-knit acrylic yarn and buttons, with wood hanger
77 x 27 x 6 inches
$7,000.
Details below showing the "DD" insignia on the chest and the hood. Click to enlarge:
  





FANTASTIC FOUR (Reed Richards), 2003
Hand-knit acrylic yarn and buttons, with wood hanger
120 x 30 x 6 inches
$8,000.
Details below showing the legs, torso and "4" insignia. Click to enlarge:





Installation view. click to enlarge





THE ESCAPIST, 2004
Hand-knit acrylic yarn and buttons, with wood hanger
75 x 26 x 6 inches
$7,000.
Details below. Click to enlarge:



  

  
Installation views. click to enlarge



THE PATRIOT, 2004
Hand-knit acrylic yarn and buttons, with wood hanger
79 x 23 x 6 inches
$7,000.
Details below showing the "US" insignia on the chest and the knitted "PATRIOT" on the backside of the costume. Click to enlarge:
  



RAWHIDE KID, 2004
Hand knit acrylic yarn, 80 x 30 x 6 inches
$7,000.

Click here to see Newport's editioned Superhero prints: Prints

"My recent work explores different facets of masculine identity and activity. Many of these works come about in response to the question, "How do I know how to be a man?" Some of the pieces examine role models from public arenas (football players, politicians, artists, servicemen, superheroes) while others address more personal ones (husbands, lovers, fathers). Many images are chosen for the activity they depict or the function they serve as either residue of an event or a collectable object. The images of strippers and pin-ups are chosen because they embody a voyeuristic function.

Through the choice of form (trading card, garment, bed cover) and the method of transformation of the original object, I compare myself to what I have been shown and told about being a man. The activity of making the work becomes a way for me to transform what I have learned and present one of the many ways of understanding masculinity.

Strength is one of the primary characteristics of masculinity. Physical strength defines how a man is "supposed" to look, and emotional strength (or the restraint of emotional expression) is the foundation of traditional masculine identity. "Filling Out: Tank Top," "Filling Out: Boxers" and "Cover-Up" explore how physical appearance is related to self-image. In a very different way, the "Freedom Bedcover" pieces explore strength. In reality, a blanket or quilt protects us when we are vulnerable by keeping us warm. My bedcovers are made of stiff paper and would provide little comfort or protection to the user. The images of comic book superheroes depicted on them suggest strength, but many are covered with embroidery that provides a softness contradictory to their image.

The word "strong," when used to describe a man, can also refer to his ability to express little or no emotion. Gifts are exchanged between people to reaffirm emotional connections and maintain those ties when individuals are separated. The "Freedom Bedcover" pieces are based on a tradition of quilts that were made for young men when they attained social and economic freedom from their family. The quilt becomes a commemoration of that transition and a way to connect the man to his family when he is away from them. "Lost Touch?" uses valentine cards with football players depicted on them to reference how feelings are expressed and the attempts at making connections starting as early as childhood.

I am interested in how each of the objects here could be seen as evidence of a gift to me, and what each of those gifts tells me about my original question, "How do I know how to be a man?" Some of the gifts - the information contained in the original object - were helpful while others were not. My hope is that my efforts here offer gifts that present new options for others."

Of his clothing pieces the artist says, "'Filling Out: Tank Top' and 'Filling Out: Boxers' explore the layering of messages that tell us our appearance meets socially accepted criteria. Muscles and strength represent the pinnacle of masculine experience. Cast off that skinny body and you, too, will be a real man. What of those that do not fit these criteria? How do they live within those unmanly bodies?"

"Freedom Bedcover," a quilt made of Batman comic book pages suggests that it might offer strength when tired or provide warmth from cold. But its irony lies in the fact that it would not protect or shelter its owner from anything - despite the depictions of super heroes representing strength and power. Pumped-up cartoon characters are just a few of the personas from which the artist learned about masculinity. The bedcover pieces were based on a tradition of quilts given to a young man as he attains adulthood and secures social and economic independence from his father. The artist considers these pieces expressions of his independence from the male role models that may have provided preparations for his transition into manhood. The artist explains, "It is both protective and commemorative, and neither at the same time."

- Mark Newport