Fig. 1 TH3 Universal Truth Northey 2014
With this mini-project I was thinking of ERASED de KOONING DRAWING by Robert Rauschenberg 1953 but also (Fig. 1) TH3 Universal Truth which I created a few years ago in order to question the veracity of photography – what truth is there in an image like this except what we bring to it.
“Does the bleaching remove too much information for them to be read or interpreted?” It is needed in order to sneak past Instagram censorship rules but when read in conjunction with my greater body of work the breadcrumbs are there to hint at it’s controversial subject matter. It allows me to thumb my nose at censorship in a cheeky & humorous way. Erasing the image yet still leaving a trace of something that could be found by the determined as digital still holds a great deal of information the naked eye cannot see.
This mini-project questions the two ends of the see-saw; the necessary prudishness of Instagram (Facebook etc) in comparison with the dearth of naked imagery on the rest of the web and also the suspected amount of nudity on an app like Snapchat possibly?
How would my work be if there were no censorship? My work is a reaction to societies censorship of us as gay men; but also as men in general – the unacceptability of the nude male in comparison to the nude female who is used & objectified in order to sell everything from soap-powder, through cars to perfume.
What is my motivation in photographing the nude male in relation to how we are portrayed in the media (visibility does not necessarily equate to acceptance).
Take for example the decision to relocate Cornwall Pride to Newquay this year in comparison to Truro and the problems this is likely to cause (Stag & Hen do’s & the statistics that show it is the Bank Holiday weekend that you are most likely to be stabbed in Newquay) this is not an empowering situation for young or questioning LGBT people to be forced to face.
Guys of our age have grown up with negative images of ourselves in the media & I try to create empowering shots & also ones that tackle body-image & ageing. How can my art play a role in ‘activism’ to combat homophobia – my work is velvet subversion as I feel this form of assimilation is at least as effective as banner-waving activism.
Again it has been pointed out my images so far are isolated and alone; sad and dark. Is there a potential strategy to depict them as a couple? I need to be more pro-active in my model search in order to produce something more positive & less melancholy.