Saturday, January 29, 2011
Men on the Verge of a Pornographic Extinction
I had joined "MAN ART" last May at the request of my friend and member Bryan Spellman. He had encouraged me several times for several years to submit something, I never followed up. We are long standing friends, from the early 80’s and had been members of a pioneer gay group called "OUT IN MONTANA". He had seen a lot of my images being used in people’s profiles on a site called Manhunt. I mostly recruited models to do lighting tests in exchange for images, they would give some time allowing me to develop and experiment with them on new lighting concepts. I really didn’t think my stuff was very good, but I was developing a following of people who recognized my images and Bryan was one of them, so he kept pushing me to put something up on this MAN ART site. Finally in May, I decided it was time to put myself out there. I had just been turned down for a job I really wanted as the Production Manager for the Drama/Dance Department at the University of Montana and was emotionally devastated when I realized I had not gotten. I figured I might as well put some images out there since I was at an all time low and nothing to loose just see what kind of response I might get. I painfully chose 8 images and submitted. Needless to say the response was astonishing, beyond what I ever imagined. People on the site fell in love with my images and what I created. I suddenly had fallen into a collective of other artists who created and did what I did; artists who respected and understood me. I was able to express my thoughts, ideas, emotions, anxieties, and joy. I instantly began to communicate with photographers from all over the world, who understood my creative desire and passion. All dealing with so many of the same creative issues: many not being able to find models to work with, lack space, lack of materials, lack of self-esteem. There were so many talented people who had so many different approaches to the same theme or topic. It truly is one of the greatest artist collectives dealing with homoerotic imagery ever conceived. Their mission was simple: “MAN ART is a site for men who create artwork for other men - generally with gay male themes. Work here may reflect, represent and interpret masculinity; male same-sex attraction; male identity; culture; behavior; ideology; thought; sexual orientation etc.” It was a free membership without advertising and would only feature the artists themselves. To be uncensored and unedited for the sole purpose of free expression. It has been one of the greatest influences on me, as an artist, and my own personal growth. It has given me confidence in myself and allowed me to face my anxieties collectively and has ultimately led me to this project I embark on this year, The Naked Man Project.
This site is not for everyone and often features images of graphic and mature nature. Be warned if it is still up and you are interested in checking it out. "Toto, we are no longer in Kansas anymore." MAN ART SITE
VIEW FULL IMAGE TOP: UGOLINO AND HIS SONS #103
VIEW FULL IMAGE BOTTOM: UGOLINO AND HIS SONS #108