Photo by Catherine Opie, Josh, 2007, courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum

We’ve feared and revered them. They’ve taunted and titillated us. Now, The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh explores the stereotype of the aggressive, sexualized American athlete in “Mixed Signals: Artists Consider Masculinity in Sports,” on exhibit through August 7.

Featuring the works of 17 contemporary artists, including Matthew Barney, Catherine Opie and Collier Shorr, “Mixed Signals” challenges traditional assumptions about gender, while emphasizing the ways masculinity is performed and constructed in American society. Additionally, the exhibit examines a social phenomenon that has become known as homosociality, the ritual of male bonding incorporating aggression and affection, homophobia and homoeroticism.  From the hot jock to the threatening locker room, “Mixed Signals” revisits both the fantasies and fears of our last Phys. Ed. class.

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