Now that just about every person effectively has a camera in their hand or their pocket every waking moment of their lives in the form of their phone, the world is being flooded with imagery all the time. Some of it stunning, lots of it not. A little while ago I read a statement that said, since the invention of the iphone there are now more photographs taken every day than there were in the entire history of photography up until that point.
In the world of male figure photography it’s very easy to become jaded. We seem to only celebrate “sameness”. Magazines and blogs are full of guys with no expression on their face because they are too busy flexing their hard-won abs and the rest of their muscles while wearing name brand underwear or swimwear. Magazines choose a good bulge over the quality of the image and heaven forbid there is any cultural diversity.
So it’s great to see someone like Ron Amato creating beautiful images of a range of guys. Sure the guys in Ron’s beautiful series “The Box” are all pretty buff and conventionally hot, I’m hardly one to throw stones at that. They do though, range in age and skin colour, tatts and no tatts. The images in the series show a real vulnerability and sensitivity that always appeals to me. Justin Schlabach is one of the models in the series and a friend on Facebook and he said the shoot left him emotionally raw from letting his guard down so much. A lot of the models didn’t even know each other before the shoot and while gay men are no stranger to getting naked and up close with other men, it’s not so common to be emotionally vulnerable while doing it.
Ron is running a Kickstarter program to fund a book of the series which I may just have to invest in myself.