Bare Men portrays the male nude as a human and art, not simply a utilitarian device. I wanted a series of natural, candid, voyeuristic nude images of men being themselves. Through Bare Men I am able to present men artistically, emotionally and being themselves sans clothing.
Bare Men celebrates the inherent beauty, sensuality, sexuality and vulnerability of the everyday man. The images share moments of joy, angst, self-care and self-love, playfulness, doubt and reflection through each man’s own filter of masculinity.
The overwhelming focus on female nudity over male nudity was another catalyst for this series. Male nudity in art perpetuates the Greek god trope - bodies carved out of marble with minuscule, flaccid, non-threatening penises or penises not visible at all. That carried over into modern-day photography, where there is rarely full-frontal nudity - visible face and genitals. A faceless man, with the focus primarily on his penis was not my objective. Nudity and sex aren't the same thing and the penis is considered threatening or taboo because that connection is made erroneously.
Over time Bare Men has also evolved into an outlet for men to work through body image issues and to finally be seen. Many of the men expressed their desire to objectified -- to be considered beautiful and lovely. I've worked with many men who had never posed nude before working with me, and I love the process of seeing them strip the armor of "being a man" in society. I've given the men I've worked with up until this point a new way to view themselves. I stay away from studio shoots for this series so there's less production and more connection. I'm working to showcase men in a human, personal light.
The images in Bare Men offer glimpses into their private moments; the men have offered me and by extension, the viewer a front-row seat to moments usually experienced alone or with intimate relations. As a result the viewer is privy to two relationships: the man and the photographer and the man and himself while in some instances is invited to join in.
Men are beautiful and lovely and vulnerable and in that there is art.
Read: To Paula, From Bare Men
I appeared on Madhouse TV's The Filmmakers Show to discuss Bare Men, and photography in general. Click the image to watch my segment.