Abigail Ekue’s Bare Men is showing for the first time outside of her native New York. We take a second look at her work. Why? Because we love it and we just can’t get enough of it…
Bare Men continues to challenge hegemonic notions of masculinity in a way that is both assertive yet nurturing, capturing the beauty of the male body but also the strength, playfulness, and tenderness of spirit. The result is at times touching, at others, highly erotic. It is always thought provoking.
Lamenting the common, often implicit, representation of the penis as threatening, Ekue transports the organ from the taboo to the matter-of-fact artistic, in a move towards male-focussed body positivity.
While the female-photographer male-nude is an obvious paradigm shift, Bare Men is less about the reversal of gender roles and power, than a celebration that men are, as Ekue describes, ‘beautiful and lovely and vulnerable and in that there is art’.