The United States version of the bara genre of underground art in which Madeira Desouza works is a unique storytelling and artistic style which originated in Japan during the 1960s. Bara works are created by gay men intended for a gay adult male audience. Images from this genre depict masculine (not feminized) males typically emphasizing muscles, physical health and strength, and macho men—real-world traits which detractors choose to inaccurately label “toxic masculinity.”

This genre depicts gay male, same-sex feelings and sexual identity of masculine, muscular men who sometimes behave in aggressive, violent, or exploitative ways towards one another instead of reinforcing typical plain vanilla depictions of romantic gay love or lovey-dovey hearts and flowers. It is also true that bara presents wild, adventurous, and unflinching perspectives that mirror real life behaviors of male aggression, power trips, violent tendencies, and exploitation.


Some Examples of the Bara Underground Art Genre from International Artists