Titles: Other 5
Size: A2 420mm x 594mm
In Milan, the fashion capital of Europe, a beautifully dressed character is revealed by turns in a dress shirt and masculine underwear. This series of portraits show ‘Trystan Sharp’; an androgynous fugitive or pulp fiction hero. Who is he / who are they? Beyond the obvious: part drag-king, part pulp fiction action hero in the style of an androgynous James Bond archetype, Trystan reveals the human power that transcends gender and age. Subverting the norms and stereotypes of problematic masculinity within Western mainstream cinema, guns are wielded with the practiced ease of a desperate anti-hero on the edges of society, protecting family and property. The presence of a conventionally beautifully young woman is out of sight of the camera, yet somehow tangible in the cheeky grin of Trystan who is at once the aggressor and the sex object himself / themself. As a model, Trystan gives back a powerful gaze to the viewer through the photographer. Continuing an ongoing theme of #MasculinityIsAMask and playing with the concept of the female gaze and images that women find attractive, the photography is intimate yet anonymous.
The primal scream of loss, grief and the temporary nature of human existence draws from the heritage of theatre and action cinema. The photographs tell an interweaving story of masculinity and grief, and reference the limits of the human body, suicidal rage and personal bereavement within a family. Sex provides a defiant antidote to death.
I explore the concept of family roles, particularly the power struggles as traditional heads of the household or tribe are challenged by the young pretender. As with earlier work, the preoccupation of angry young masculinity at once insecure and yet bolstered with a feigned arrogance, with weapons and the community role of a guard or sentry is considered.
This project is a continuation of the ongoing work #MasculinityIsAMask