Wednesday, February 29, 2012
My passion for the arts, especially the expression of oneself through the visual arts, means I am not a fan or supporter of censorship or any kind. Of course I have my own personal boundaries, we all do. I do not support the exploitation of children or support any art form with an intent to harm or promote bigotry or hate. Because of my own personal experiences, I also dislike any form of cruelty in any aspect of my life, art included.
Now, before anyone says it in the comment section, I know that I am most likely being over sensitive with this issue. But... I was rather disturbed recently with the series of shots making the rounds on sites, forums and blogs of the Patriota Twins. The images themselves did not bother me as much as the reactions to them. I found it hard to get my head around how many people, both posters and readers, found the depiction of incest themes so sexually arousing and hot. The men are without a doubt hot, but their relationship? Really...
Above: Carlson Twins by Bruce Weber.
I work in a profession where dealing with the aftermath of incest is a regular part of my week. Incest is generally not an adult issue, it is usually something that begins in childhood and more often than not, one or both of the those involved are victims. Although there are certainly sexual components to it, the pain it usually causes to all involved is nothing close to hot. It's motivators are usually rooted in depression, desperation, often isolation and mental illness and always, always in pain.
Bruce & Seth Hall by Steven Underhill
I wonder what the reaction would be to a brother and sister posed in similar sexually provocative ways? What about a father or mother with their daughter or son... My gut is that it would not be so welcomed as hot on mainstream blogs and websites. Yet, many gay websites praised and welcomed the Patriolta's. Are two hot men together hot regardless of their relationship?
A wise friend of mine recently pointed out to me that the theme is not new and has been a part of many photo series I have loved over the years. Obviously homoerotic themes have been apart of many classic images of brothers, most notably the Carlson's by Bruce Weber and The Hall Twins by Steven Underhill. I was never bothered by any of these shots. Underhill's series with the Hall twins was one the first series of shots saved to a folder when I joined the web. The Carlson's work with Weber is also at the top of my list of favorite shoots.
Am I a hypocrate? Why was I so bugged by the shots that came out of the Patriota's work... The Carlson's, The Halls, The Cannata's, The Guedes, Harrison's and Stenmark's all were shot using a same similar theme. I came to the conclusion it was not the homoerotic relationship between the brothers that bothered me the most. Unlike Weber and Underhill's work, there is careless lack of creativity and an obvious laziness used with the Patriolta's. It was clear the photographers simply thought having two great looking me in front of them required nothing more than having them lusting after one another, the fact they were bothers, unimportant. In Weber's work with the Carlson's and Underhill's with the Hall's, the realtionship between the two brothers was a central part of each image, it's power gave the images their meaning and their strength. With the Patriolta's they were just two hot men, any thought to another level within the work was left at the door, or on the floor.
Maybe I am really off the mark, and maybe I am reading far too much into it but Weber's captures of the Carlson's jumping naked in the air after the football is an incredible artistic and creative image. Most of the images of the Patriota's...not so much.
Marcos and Marcio Patriota
Twincestlicious btw is not my term but a fitting description I read on a forum about the images.