Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Unfortunate Man

The unfortunate man could not touch the one he loved.
It had been declared illegal by the law.
Slowly his fingers became toes and his hands gradually became feet.
He began to wear shoes on his hands to disguise his pain.
It never occurred to him to break the law

I am very bad with names so I can never be the name-dropper type. 
But if there comes an occasion where I have to name my favorite photographers, 
two Ms come to mind - 
Mapplethrope and Michals .

Having a name easy to remember and pronounce helps, 
but the truth is, I really adore DM. 
I can't remember how I come to know of his works, 
but having nude men featured in his photographs was definitely the initial enticement. 

Yes, you can find cute models (mostly in the boy/man-next-door genre rather than the adonis type)in Michals' works, 
and, yes, some of them are naked, 
but his photography can hardly be called "male nudes". 

His works doesn't dwell on exploring the beauty of the male physique nor its sensuality. And it is not about using nudity to make a statement either.
Rather, a lot of his better-known works are intentionally staged images to tell a story or to express a sentiment, or both. 
And I would think whether he strips his model(s) or not is an intentional choice to enhance clarity of the message. 
And to these ends, I think he is most effective.

The themes of Michal's work range from heavy stuffs about life, death, religion, to witty anecdotes of daily life. 
The explicit gay context of The Unfortunate Man could well be a deviation from his usual themes.

In starting this blog, I don't know how deviant I dare or how honest I am prepared to share my naked thoughts. 
Maybe that's why this image comes to mind on my first post.
Any other Duane Michals fans out there ? Would love to hear from you !


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