Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Home For My Nude Men

My Bare Men photo series features 7 men, ranging in ages 22-51 in art, editorial and erotic nude images sharing moments of joy, release, ecstasy, vulnerability and angst. It is also a book.

"Cover Boy", Bare Men, Abigail Ekue Photography

I'm currently seeking a place to exhibit and it's been a uphill battle. Any rejection I've received has been about the content of the photos, not the quality of the images, the level of my work etc. I've been told numerous times, "I/we love your work, we just can't show that here", the reason given being the clientele or they feel it's too raw.

"Please", Bare Men, Abigail Ekue Photography

The male nude is commonly shown as simply a utilitarian device -- stoic, strong, aggressive. I chose to celebrate men in private moments of vulnerability, angst, joy and yes, erect.

I chose to do a series of male nudes because of the lack of male nudity in art. Even though my images are shot from a from a hetero-femme perspective, there's an assumption it's catered for the gay market. Where it is found, it's usually sans penis as though the models are eunuchs. If there's full frontal, the penis cannot, repeat, cannot be erect. At a photo exhibit I attended this past summer, Sex Cells, a vulva was added to a male model instead of showing his penis. Think about that.

From the Sex Cells photo exhibit

The exhibit, Naked Men, at Leopold Museum in Vienna, Austria is presenting long overdue presentation of the nude male. They did have to censor one of the ads for the exhibit but the images are up on the museum walls so that is a huge coup. I've contacted the curator of Nackte Männer, Tobias Natter, commending him on the exhibit and to consider me for future shows showcasing male nudes.

So I'll continue to look for a "place to show my penis". A gallery or event space that is nude-friendly, sex-positive and about showcasing quality art. Any leads are appreciated. My pitch is ready. Female nudity is everywhere. Time for equal opportunity. Consider this my first installment though. There's more to come.

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  1. This is interesting. I never even considered looking at a book of nude men, but you've peaked my interest, at least about the subject of male nudity in art. Do you talk about who the subjects are in the book? I'm biased, but I'd probably appreciate this for the pictures of the men I find attractive and maybe the stories behind the others. And I'd appreciate learning about the creative process for the photographer. A book of chiseled, straight black men? Ooo whee!

    1. I don't talk about the men in the book. It's strictly a photo book (with some captions and titles to link the images).

      I wasn't able to get any Black men to pose for this series. None agreed to it when I asked and didn't get Black men to answer my casting call. There's a lot to be said for that. But I consider this my 1st installment so it would be great to work with some Black men in the next one.


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