'These men learn to laugh about themselves and the traditions they are expected to uphold, and the work traces their efforts to recreate themselves as free individuals.'
Of course four hot guys performing naked would always grab my attention, but it was also their name that had me we wanting to learn more about Sons of Sissy. Sissy is usually used as an insult, a word to describe a gentle man, one who doesn't conform to the conventional view of masculinity. Sons of Sissy strives to challenge and this definition and stereotype and the way society looks at masculinity.
Created by Austrian musician, performer, and choreographer Simon Mayer, the Sons of Sissy do everything they can to live up to their name. They conduct themselves as part weird folk-music quartet, part experimentally playful ritual dance combo, using humor to radically disrupt the hackneyed male role models in old traditions.
'If you are offended by nudity on stage, this is not for you – the dancers are naked for a significant portion of the piece, although nothing indecent occurs! The nudity makes the performers appear more vulnerable than ever, as they strip away their male bravado, their masculine shields.'
After first seeing images of model Andreas Arapis by Joseph Lalley, I had to see more. The Greek/American model has a great face, an engaging smile, an incredible body, and for me, an especially eye catching set of nips...
Given my passion for male focused imagery, I consider the male form a work of art. Over the years, I've featured male models in poses replicating famous art pieces, and posing with art pieces. For this shoot, photographer Stephan Tobias surrounded his subject with art, paintings, sculptures and an array of colors and textures, contrasting with his smooth skin and muscular body.
Although at first glance, it may appear the beautiful Michael is posing in a museum, the setting is actually an opulent apartment in Berlin. The apartment belongs to a friend of Stephan's who generally opened up his space for the shoot. Although he lives in Washington DC, Michael was visiting Berlin last year, and a short window of opportunity opened for a shoot with Stephan.
FH readers are aware of Stephan's work as both a model and a photographer. I've always been impressed with Stephan's eye for beauty and especially his knack for pushing boundaries in his work, especially with spaces.. Stephan has an acute feel for connecting, both physically and emotionally, with the spaces he work in. Stephan beautifully carried on this theme in this series with Michael.
'As a photographer and as a model, passionate for the male nude, I am always eager to find interesting shooting opportunities. When I see one, I am happy if I can just go for it. I love to discover and to be spontaneous. A moment of inspiration may never come back.'
'Michael has a really nicely proportioned and well trained body, but also expressions which speak of struggles and vulnerability. It was a pleasure for me to explore that a bit and to put it in context with that beautiful apartment space around him. Don't we always need that space around us to define ourselves and to find out who we really are?'
'This apartment offered numerous decorative props too, like the pallette which had belonged to my friend's grandfather, who was a well known painter. Such items can easily be used for pictures which have what I call "obscure symbolism". A pallette resembles a fig leave, but also can stand for the color which has been bestowed on us and which keeps influencing us, throughout our lives.'
'A glass table and framed pictures in the right light and angle can offer beautiful reflections. Capturing those may raise other visual questions, like what we really are and what we could become if seen from a different angle. Obscure symbolism can be found in many ways and often it becomes part of my photographic explorations subconsciously. The disappearing daylight forced us to terminate our creative collaboration after a short, but productive, 90 minutes.'