The work for me contains both social and personal references. A mix of post “PC male” commentary and aspects of my own life where a macho response was the only thing left in the bank. Even though this behaviour is presented as humour, there is an element of personal confession and a belief that too much “Macho” is the same as not enough.
“Mike Gray’s work parodies common male archetypes in a way that is both comical and affectionate”.
(David Broker, Photofile 72)
“Images of the male as 'hero' have been so overused that their power has become attenuated and their iconography ripe for satire. Mike Gray's photographs employ too many of the clichés of masculinity to be taken as a serious proposition for a viable masculine ideal. For the artist, the initial novelty of trying on the guise of machismo is overtaken by an awareness that many of these cliches kick in each time he looks in the mirror and becomes the 'other'.”
(Alisdair Foster, Director, Australian Centre of Photography)
"By assuming various cultural stereotypes or contextual frames, the featured artists make visible the tension between how identity is internally experienced and how others (mis)read it from external cues. Mike Gray conjures the cliches of masculinity to transform himself into the mythical creature of the young soldier. It's like catching a little boy playing army dress-ups, except that, in his series Macho Confessions, Gray's game of artifice is layered and complex. His prints are digitally composed from a combination of miniature models, landscape photographs and studio portraits of himself."
(DOMINIQUE ANGELORO, Sydney Morning Herald)
2011 Macho Confessions - Turner Galleries, Perth, AUS.
2008 Kaunas Photo Festival 08 – Grand Prix Finalist, Kaunas Lithuania.
2008 Hijacked – Berlin (Neunplus), New York (The Arm), Sydney (Australian Centre for Photography).
2008 Kaunas Photo Festival – Australian Edition, Kaunas Lithuania.
2008 Dr Daryl Hewson Collection – QUT Art Museum, Brisbane, AUS.
2008 Assorted – Perth Centre of Photography, Perth, AUS.
2006 Man/Trouble - Downtown Art Space, Adelaide, AUS
2004 Ladies and Gentlemen - QCP, Brisbane, AUS.
2004 Surface Tension - Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, AUS.
2008 Hijacked, Volume 1, Australian and American Photographers
2008 Mirror to the Deluded Male, The West Australian Newspaper, Fri 29th February.
2004 What About Me?, The Sydney morning Herald, Thurs 6th February.
2004 'Surface Tension', Sunday Arts, ABC television
2004 Satire, laugh til’ it hurts, Photofile Issue #72 , Cover and Feature.