CRoP Bullet Points

A bullet-point list to help with the structure of my Critical Review of Practice –

  • Born of frustration. Lemons to Lemonade
  • Chatted of inconsequentialities
  • Tired of decapitating / masking. Something more positive & less shameful. Something that reveals rather than conceals –
  • Why Concupiscence? concupiscence is what they understand as the orientation, inclination or innate tendency of human beings to long for fleshly appetites, often associated with a desire to do things which are proscribed.” (Wikipedia –
  •  Natasha Caruana (
  • No Peacocks displaying their tail feathers
  • subordinate other
  • Politics of representing ‘the other’
  • I bear witness
  • ethics of the situation…of representation & of encouragement
  • today’s cyber world where it is all too convenient to consider the avatar you are conversing with is somehow disjointed from a real person
  • Create on online persona to fantasize; which is the real person? ‘normal’ husband or online avatar?
  • Need for discretion and anonymity
  • Expose ‘privates’ but hide ‘public’ face
  • The polite & acceptable face that juxtaposes with our needs and desires
  • Brought up in that society to objectify women… now objectifier becomes objectified
  • Subscribed to societies expectations & performed their duties.
  • Poldark Double Standards (
  • Sex sells but over 40 it’s considered ‘icky’ even though we are expected to worship at the cult of youth
  • cult of youth giving rise to unrealistic body-types and body dysmorphia among older & young generation
  • at what age we are expected to leave behind thoughts of desire and physical intimacy
  • Lucky…we become silver foxes (Richard Gere, Gerorge Clooney, Philip Schofield (ok to some maybe!))
  • Reality without Photoshop filters is very different – losing hair where we want it, but an excess where we don’t. Expectation of virility leads to reliance on Viagra
  • Contrary to popular opinion the male ego is a surprisingly fragile thing and we are invariably hyper-conscious of time’s effect upon our bodies.
  • A visual objectification of the bisexual male
  • Bizarre ritual … scrutiny of the lens (There is also a power differential… the intimacy of the space where the model gives themselves completely to the photographer. Their vulnerability & need to place complete trust in me)
  • Light at a low angle to represent intimacy of the bedroom
  • Subject was not happy about what age was doing to his body…weight gain that was difficult to shift…legs used to be his crowning glory
  • An orgy of disjointed body parts
  • intimate performance between subject & photographer
  • shockingly banal
  • Use the body to explore questions of identity
  • Not used to being allowed to savour the sensual textures of the male form in such intimate detail. …such pore-sharp detail
  • Fetish, voyeurism, exhibitionism
  • Invite to feast guilt-free on an orgy of sculptural, textural & sensual forms.
  • Peccadilloes – scratch an itch
  • ….like homo it is a cold clinical dictionary definition word that is anathema to the torrent of emotion it represents
  • Many prefer when i was married but this could apply to women gay men or even lesbians
  • Why the mix of image styles? From ‘historical’ wet plate to today’s retro lo-fi Instagram filters. Grounding the nude in history when it was possibly more acceptable than it is today (pornography in early Victorian Portrait Studios). Also the reference to google image search
  • instead of pigeon-holing with the same image style use them to highlight our differences
  • #Acceptance; #Aging; #Anonymity; #Boundaries; #Concealment; #Conformity; #Desire; #Disclosure; #Disruption; #Ethics; #Exhibitionism; #Fetish; #Infidelity; #Intimacy; #Invisibility; #Masculinity; #Objectification; #Personae; #Power; #Provocation; #Representation; #Repression; #Self-identity; #Sensuality; #Sexuality; #Stereotypes; #Stigma; #Subversion; #Taboo; #Trust; #Validation; #Voyeurism; #Vulnerability;
  • lighting & ‘poses’ intimately close as if taken by a lover… My use of a single light source often from a low angle throughout this project alludes to the nature of a bedside lamp and the implications of intimacy even though these are studio shoots.
  • In today’s cyber world where concerns are raised that we are losing touch with human contact skills it is interesting to create such sensuously close images between a photographer and subject who have only just met
  • Sontag (fear the camera’s disapproval) ; Barthes (putting on a character to be photographed)
  • parts of the body and skin that signify the male, what differentiates the male from the female which attracts us to the male instead
  • intimate feel to represent the intimacy he was seeking
  • John Coplans uncompromisingly harsh lighting “It’s a neglected subject matter…So, I’m using my body and saying, even though it’s a seventy year old body, I can make it interesting.”……but my need is to flatter Coplans was resigned to the decay of age while these men cling on to vestiges of sexuality and virility.
  • intriguing angles and viewpoints that force the viewer to question what they are regarding. Creating sculptural forms and sensual textures that hint at an intimacy that is almost too personal – removing any indication that these are studio based shoots to suggest stolen moments taken by lovers… portraying the inherent sexuality of the situation.
  • Many came just for the experience
  • Is your sexuality defined by what you do in bed or what you feel in your soul…
  • So you are forced to engage with it as a large imposing piece (no shy delicate small whispering shots here)… creating an installation that demands attention and provokes a reaction as opposed to tentatively asking to meekly be read
  • Male Gaze
  • Phallophobia… (society (by which I mean the media) decrees the naked woman to be beautiful and artistic while the naked male is seen as shameful)
  • normalise and de-stigmatise the naked male
  • a distinct intimacy between myself and my subjects in order for me to capture the shots I have amassed so far…. more of a collaboration.
  • It was questioned whether this whole project is subject to a specific generation; all of my subjects to date are over 50 years old. The perception is that sexuality is a far more fluid thing to the younger generation and there is far less stigma in being non-heterosexual – is the world really different for them?
  • Returning to the mention of collaboration – these photoshoots could not occur without an exchange between myself and subject, I am enabling and complicit; acknowledging this side to their personalities which is an empowering factor. Ordinarily there is merely a physicality to their encounters whereas in the safe space of my studio I am an understanding ear. They are extremely brave and trusting in allowing me to explore their lives, bodies and desires in such intimate detail.
  • Wives aware ?
  • website has the chance to reach wider and can give the participants the option to see the final work without fear of being discovered.
  • white cube … adding seriousness and gravitas to the theme.
  • comes within a hairs-breadth of exposing their portrait and breaks the trust relationship between myself and the subject.
  • There is an element of the statuesque about the capture whereby we initially question if it is flesh or carved from marble…bringing up connotations of classical statuary and the idealism of form which has culminated in today’s search for the perfect body.
  • I am struck by the candour with which these men are willing to open themselves up to me both body and soul…exposing secrets as well as their bare naked flesh to the harsh reality of my camera.
  • looking at muscle tone, taught tendons and body hair that spoke to me of The Male. Trying to find images that provoke a feeling of a sexual encounter and the detail you can only get when the subject allows you to enter their personal space in such an intimate way.
  • censorship and the vilification of the naked male body
  • scale
  • tactile nature of overlapping images…each caressing it’s partners
  • hints that I have visually flayed the male form to be placed on display for perusal.
  • blurs the boundary between a display of photographs and an installation in itself
  • online personae, labels, truths, sexualities ethical choice to use images
  • with angles that hinted at a sensuality and sexuality – almost posing the question of whether we were intruding upon an act between two men
  • He is not conventionally attractive if those idols are what we are expected to achieve or emulate. Does this mean he is not entitled to a healthy sex life?
  • Key Piece, sculptural nude
  • The interview is such an embedded part of the project it should not be missed out or overlooked in favour of the images…project has been a collaboration so I need to ensure my participants have their voice.
  • I am thinking of a square format to counteract the image of ‘square’ sexuality / sexual lifestyles. I can bring in tracing paper for some one-line quotes of text? Playing with the concealing / revealing nature of the project.
  • So each page almost becomes a cropped version of the exhibition collage.
  • Happy accidents that made the final collage
  • Thoughts on the exhibition
  • implicit rather than explicit…. body shaming & nude female in advertising
  • hunter & hunted…gay men ‘less than men’ why come for a shoot? reassurance they are still attractive
  • peers influence in geometric graphical compositions
  • truly bisexual or merely ‘men who have sex with men’
  • assumed looking at the intimacy between two men but each is a solo shoot
  • positive feedback which is gratifying but doesn’t challenge
  • not used to viewing the male in such intimate detail.
  • invite the viewer to a guilt free feast; an orgy of sculptural, textural & sensual forms.
  • supposed to be a project about bi men, but ultimately a documentation about my (or gay men’s) obsession / fascination with the male form and the inherent beauty in masculinity and its signifiers
  • society decrees the female form to be the epitome of beauty but the male with his body hair and dangling genitals is seen as ugly (a form of body shaming)
  • L. Steiner photo wall / alternate family album
  • Wall of images as I had on my bedroom as a teenager of beautiful pictures of beautiful people culled from The Face & i-D magazine
  • Project about validation for the subjects…one man found it a cathartic experience.
  • Informal chat to put them at ease, find out about their experiences and how they view their sexuality to get an idea of how best to represent them

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