Objectives 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.  Eventually, I reached a point, growing tired of being nomadic and scrambling for work that I decided to return home.  Montana, as you may have guessed 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 visited 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 true love was with a man. 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 nude 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 often needed to remain hidden.  Certainly images were still produced, but most of it remained underground.  It wasn’t until Robert Mapplethorpe in the 1970’s that homoerotic art really began to emerge.  Ironically it was Mapplethorpe’s work that brought me to photography.  One fall, while I was working backstage at a small regional theater, with little to do and a great deal of time on my hands to read, I accidentally received his biography from a mail order book club Mapplethorpe: A Biography by Patricia Morrisroe.  At first I was appalled by the graphic descriptions of his explicit sexual lifestyle.  Yet I was captivated by a man who had the courage to utterly express himself, to explore his own sexuality , and create a remarkable visual representation of his perceptions, experience, and environment though the creation of his  imagery.   I instantly knew this was to become my destiny and when the current theater job finished, I wanted to returned home to begin my own process of discovery.

My goal with this project, is to explore my own artistry and desire and my need to create beautiful images of the male nude. To 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.