This is another man who requires complete anonymity; not least because he seems to have three distinct personae – The professional man, his personal life & his fantasy character. In exchange for some photographs of his fantasy self he allowed me some shots to feature in this project.
(Fig. 1) – an abstract group of shades of blue creates a calming feeling of serenity with reflections of seawater this alludes to our home town and the enjoyment us locals gain from the beach and the sea during the high summer months.
(Fig. 2) – The phallic symbolism of this simple composition is an obvious representation of our sex & sexuality. It bears strong resemblance to traditional Italian Cornicello lucky charms which were representative of fertility, virility & strength. A tongue-in-cheek shot that I hope mitigates the shameless symbolism with gentle humour.
(Fig. 3) – Whereas the previous abstract shot (Fig. 1) had a celebratory feeling of the sea as pleasure giver. This shot is a lot darker and sombre in mood. It hints at drowned sailors and lost souls trapped in permanent purgatory
(Fig. 4) – Another gentle and serene image that plays with shades of indigo & turquoise. You can almost feel the warmth of the sun streaming through the leaves – relaxing and calming. A misty ethereal shot which would contrast rather aptly with the challenging pictorialisation of the naked male.
(Fig. 5) – This is my favourite domestic shot from the shoot. Frames within frames & a mirror reflected in a mirror. With the mottled, decayed foxing of the silver backing standing in as representing the inevitable decay of youth. Here we are alluding to parallel universes as well as mirror magic. And the use of photography to reflect ‘real’ life or our desires for what our life should be. With the clarity lost out of focus and the deteriorating reflection threatening to overwhelm.
(Fig. 6) – I was concerned about trying to capture him in his anonymity without it appearing forced or posed or unnatural, but the shadowing and his relaxed position seem to be casual and tranquil. The size and positioning of his manhood are a flagrant threat to the viewer yet the mood of the whole is more tender and vulnerable which contradicts with his intimidating tool. We are privy to his most intimate of spaces with only his spectacles left to hint at his persona. With his face concealed he cannot see our eyes regarding his naked body, and therefore we are free to objectify him much in the way the male gaze traditionally regards the nude female form. I have been considering the reclining female nude and how this could relate to my own exploration of the naked male. So this image draws upon those traditions, yet twists it to suit the male instead and with the outcome being a very different mood and narrative.