My love and passion was always for theater. When I was younger, I worked as a lighting designer and professional stage manager in theaters across the US. Eventually, I grew weary of living out of my suitcase and gave up that vagabond lifestyle to return back to my home in the mountains of Western Montana.
The Male Nude of Today
Ever since the dawn of humankind, sex and sexuality have been an integral part of it. While modern-day consciousness fights to stop this kind of behavior, a New York photographer introduced us a to a whole new world of the understanding of the human nude figure in art , as she solely focuses on the naked male body. She wanted to ask a question of the position of male nude photography in the contemporary art world. What happens when you expose Bare Men to a wider audience? You open a sort of a Pandora box. Abigail Ekue is a writer whose essays focus on a variety of things, but one of her main topics is erotica. In a way, their nudity becomes the less important part of her photos, while strong emotions, vulnerability and an expression of personal experience take over the narrative. Challenging the taboos, the Bare Men photographs are intimate, private, insightful, sensitive, sensual and even surprising. It is scheduled for release in We talked to Abigail about her intentions behind this unusual project, the unexpected response she had in regards and how a nude photography contest jury first accepted, then rejected the photos because they were too… nude.
Light, Beauty, Desire, and the Art of the Naked Man
Born, bred and raised in the Southwest of Cornwall I came late to the artistry of the camera. The images I create are intimate collaborations with my sitters resulting in works that range from the conceptual, romantic or classical to the subjectively challenging; sometimes for small projects, but often as standalone pieces of art. The naked male has long been a contentious issue; he threatens, horrifies, subverts and worst of all incites hidden desires. While my work is firmly rooted within and references Queer History and Identity there are broader issues touched upon that question masculinity from the full spectrum of sexualities…ageing, desire, ethics, intimacy, objectification, validation, vulnerability and particularly censorship.
The representation of the male nude in the fine arts was once viewed as the noblest of artistic endeavours. In Ancient Greece, the male physique represented a potent symbol of Greek civilization, power, and superiority. This reverence for the power of the male nude is evident in the paintings, sculptures, pottery, and other decorative arts of classical Greek culture. The reasons for this decline are numerous and complex - involving issues relating to religion, homophobia, pornography, the dominance of the "male gaze" in art, and, perhaps to a lesser extent, the development and proliferation of visual imagery on the Internet and social media It is against this backdrop of the gradual decline in the status of the male nude in art that I seek to create male portraits that are as beautiful as they are timeless. A return to the days when the male nude was considered the highest form of artistic expression. My hope is to make a small contribution to restoring the male nude to its rightful place in the world of fine art without resorting to the unnecessary sexualization of the men being portrayed. Enter main gallery.