That is the question.

For some, the beard is a commodity that has gone in and out of fashion over the years but not for this man from Tenerife. According to the artist it is a part of his lifestyle: „A beard is something always present in my life, I have it, my husband has it, many of my friends have, and almost all the protagonists of my artwork too. Beards and mustaches are a hallmark of my work.“

Throughout history we can recall many prominent men with beards like Che Guevara or Otto the Great, a Saxon Duke and founder of the Holy Roman Empire, who reportedly swore by his beard when making an oath, Karl Marx and his buddie Friedrich Engels, and we can‘t forget Santa Claus who sports the biggest and most recognizable white beard of them all -just to name a few.

I am not saying that every guy has to have a beard to be masculine, totally to the contrary. There are also many examples of clean shaven guys that have the masculinity thing going on. Personally, I am a big fan of shaving my face almost every day, a moustache or occasional pair of sideburns is usually more than enough for me. Beards are not meant to grace everyone‘s face but sometimes I must admit that beards do add an air of mystique with the right look or personality. But definetly not the lazy -´oh I am just not going to shave and have some ungroomed dirty looking excuse for a beard´, that so many hipsters everywhere are doing these days. That is so five minutes ago. If you personally choose to do a beard, then boys, own it!

The bearded guys portrayed in the artworks of Fénix Díaz are strong, self aware, clean and confident men. All of them are very comfortable with the beards that they choose to sport. Pirates, gingers, sisters, drags and many varieties but they all happily wear their beards like a medal of masculine honor passed down from a hearty viking -or something like that.

Fénix Diaz started professionally as an illustrator for the first Gran Canarian magazine addressed to the LGBT public: „Tenerife Entiende“ and now for others including a digital Bear magazine from Brasil.

His main interest is to graphically represent the gay subculture of beard lovers, the bear community and the male attitude. The colorful masculinity of his characters tends to show their sensitive, sweet, and even cute side. These various heroes of his illustrations are men with full beards and body hair that easily move between toughness and tenderness, showing that the road between the two, at many times, is very short and subtle. His furry figures look for a partnership with their audience through whatever fantasies may pop up in your heads, but leave the final interpretation as a subjective one and in the hands of the observer. You.

Black Boot for Boner Magazine

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