Toby Raine (b. 1983) has a Doctorate of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. Man Crush is an ongoing portrait series of male figures — including Aleister Crowley, Ian Gillan, Jimmy Page, and Ozzy Osbourne. Thick impasto paint is pushed across the surface with surprising force, mixing upon the canvas; colour and form merge, each threatening to dissolve. ManCrush was first showcased in a solo exhibition at Gus Fisher Gallery in 2016. Raine’s paintings celebrate the male icon, not as a patriarchal form of oppression or chauvinism, but a tongue-in-cheek tribute to maleness, a subject seemingly unfavourable today. This series relates to the father, the magician, the rock god, the messiah, the prophet and the pride of facial hair that is part of the primary composition of the male sex. Raine also investigates identity considering the primordial or the predecessor, investigating how men fashion their masculinity on historic examples. He reflects on infamous artists and musicians, and how their image and ego influence his own identity.