Monday, January 3, 2011

Objective of The Naked Man Project

My goal and objective in creating The Naked Man Project is to explore my own precepts of art and the creation of male erotic art.  When I first began photography in 1997 my teachers always said “shoot what you know.”  My background was theater and I was a gay man living in the wilds of Montana.

I spent 10 years on the road working as a professional stage manager and lighting designer when I reached a point where I was tired of being nomadic and scrambling for work. Montana, as you may know, is not a hot bed of professional theater, although it does have some very good things going on.  The fact of the matter is I was born and raised in Montana and my family still lived here.  I had been to or lived in most of the major cities and realized that my small town sensibilities just did not belong in that kind of environment.  My first love was gay men. There was something exciting about growing up in Montana as a gay man during an era when it all felt taboo.   Forbidden passion ignited a hidden sub world of intrigue, mystery, and allure. When you connected with someone you knew it would probably be fleeting, so you had to savor every possible moment and take the experience to it’s fullest sensual potential.   Often times the experience become like an intoxicating dream that remained in your head as a romantic reverie.

The male body certainly seemed to have been a taboo subject among modern artists.  To paint, to draw, or to photograph the nude male generally implied you were gay and that fact needed to remain hidden.  Yes images were produced, but most of it underground.  It wasn’t until Robert Mapplethorpe in the 1970’s that homoerotic art really began to emerge.  It’s funny because it was Mapplethorpe that brought me to photography.  I accidentally received his biography in a book club while working backstage at a small regional theater.  As I read it I was appalled by the graphic description of his life style.  Yet I was captivated by a man who had the courage to utterly express himself, to explore his own life style, and create a remarkable visual representation of his perceptions, experience, and environment though his imagery.   I instantly knew this was to become my destiny and when that theater job finished, I returned home to begin my own process of discovery. 

My goal here is to explore my own artistry and desire to create beautiful images of the male nude and expose my inner sensual/sexual identity though a daily blog. The project: for one year I will post a new image each day that I have created and examine my need to create it.


1 comment:

Dave C said...

My mind has been searching for a word with more clarity to match my feelings and impressions of your images Terry. The word finally came to mind - evocative. Your work is evocative on several levels - mind, body and soul. The ability to connect on any one of those levels is limited only to the barriers one puts up to avoid delving into the ways in which erotic male imagery works inside us. By letting bringing down those barriers we are allowing ourselves to explore our identities as physical, sexual men.