This quietly spoken gentle man was a little shy and nervous at the start of the photoshoot; which merely highlights what a bizarre occurrence these photoshoots are. Why would you place yourself in the situation whereby you are expected to disrobe for a complete stranger and expose your body, warts and all to the unforgiving gaze of today’s hyper-accurate cameras? Almost every subject has mentioned how they hate having their photograph taken. Is this merely the words we are expected to utter in such circumstances? I keep returning to the media’s worship of the Cult of Youth and how damaging this is to the self-image of the younger generation…let alone those of us that are supposedly past our prime. So are these subjects, who have been kind enough to model for me, merely seeking a little reassurance that they are still physically attractive? These men played the game of hunter and hunted many years ago in order to find themselves a soul-mate; now they are in the strange position of advertising themselves to be objectified in order to scratch an itch and gain some carnal relief.
This brings up the issue of a power relationship. Again the majority of the men have described wanting to be placed in the female role. This is not to say they identify as a woman or be considered any way feminine…but put simply, they wish to be passive; to have their usual roles reversed and be the one who is seduced. This is a strange thing to consider from the perspective of a gay man…as gay men we are seen as ‘less than men’ – a poor imitation of true masculinity. This is probably why a great deal of gay men spend so much time and effort cultivating a hyper-masculine image to compensate for societies views of us as ‘not real men’. So it is slightly odd to consider these bisexual men seeking a passive role in an encounter with a gay man. From a gay man’s perspective there is a great deal of cache and erotic fulfilment to be gained from ‘nailing’ the straight guy.
For the actual images I captured in this shoot. Again I am looking for shots that intrigue – images that question which parts of the body we are contemplating. Is this a single man placing himself on display or has the camera captured a stolen moment of intimacy between two men. I looked for sculptural forms that initially question whether it is even a human body we are regarding and also forms that highlight textures that represent masculinity. I suspect there is a great deal of influence coming from one or two of my peers with the graphical compositions many of my images contain. The male form is rarely subject to such sensual scrutiny so the thought of having these images placed upon a gallery wall in all their intimate detail is one that greatly appeals.