The Nude Portrait VI (Posing Without Pants)

category g.1) 'bottomless' with shirt

1. Willy Vanderperre Men Are From Mars, Man About Town 2011
2. Alasdair McLellan "Together That Summer We Raised Some Hell, Yeah!", 2013
3. Thomas Whiteside Piccadilly Palare, The Wild #5, 2014

category g.2) 'bottomless' with dress, lifted

4. Tyrone Lebon Pop Magazine Fall/Winter 2013

category g.3) doubles/couples
5. Wolfgang Tillmans John And Paula, Sitting Bottomless, 1994
6. Terry Richardson Terryworld, 2004

category g.4) dropping pants

7. Flint-Fuyt The Belgian Beat, 2013

category g.5) from underneath
8. Wolfgang Tillmans Dust I, 2004

category h.1) 'bottomless' as campaign and magazine cover

9. Sølve Sundsbø Yves Saint Laurent M7, 2002
10. Mathilde ter Heijne & Amy Patton Gentle Men, Rediviva #23, 2013
11. Will McBride DUST Magazine #5, 2013

'Bottomless' is the ambivalent term for male models wearing nothing but a top. Not quite nude photography yet, fashion editorials are currently exploring the opposite to and much lower focal point of 'topless'. Quintessentially, the images are not 'sexy' or 'provocative'. Instead they do carry the nonchalance of naturalism.

Thus, the Penis Revolution is not a sexual one. It is something in between: a study of exposure and privacy, of dressing and undressing, of the male form that is accepted and documented as what it is. The images evoke tension as loosing the trousers first contradicts the regular, everyday process of undressing. As a result, the unagitated depiction always contains a certain notion of staged-ness. Irritation lends these photographs their strength.

The picture that initiated this new-found ease of presenting male genitals in a high fashion context is the Yves Saint Laurent M7 fragrance campaign shot by Sølve Sundsbø. Directing the beholder's view diagonally from headline to product still to Samuel de Cubber's casually exposed crotch.

A revealing motif that is common within the performing arts, particularly men's ballet where nude tights and suspensory gear create the trompe l'œil illustion of lower nudity. Signs are we will encounter this visual effect more often.

1 comment:

Paul Thomason said...

Hummmm. I'm never irritated when i see a man without pants, whether live or in a photo. I look forward to your continued exploration of this topic. Perhaps, even, your participation in the phenomenon.