With Bare Men, Abigail Ekue in some ways takes up where she left off in Man. Toy., the debut photo series that sees the male figure replaced in everyday situations by a dildo.
She sets out, in her own words, ‘capturing the beautiful nuances and emotions of everyday life’ and makes the viewer engage with the explicitly sexual in a variety of un-sexy settings. More importantly, she raises questions about how we understand a man’s body and male sexuality.
“I started Bare Men as a response to the male nudity that was available,” explains Ekue explains as she reflects upon the project, “primarily porn or imagery without full-frontal nudity.”
Shooting in an intimate setting familiar to her subjects, Ekue has created photographs that ‘share moments of joy, physical angst, and vulnerability’. She presents the male body as a thing of beauty as well as an organ of power and proudly documents men shedding the ‘armor’ of stereotypical masculinity.