Masculinities: Liberation through Photography (Barbican)
Alona Pardo (Ed)
Barbican & Prestel, 2020
This photographic exploration draws together the work of approximately fifty artists of different ethnicities, generations, and gender identities to look at how ideas of masculinity have evolved since the 1960s. Each of its six themed chapters features bold and arresting work by artists such as Richard Avedon, John Coplans, Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts, Collier Schorr, Larry Sultan, Wolfgang Tillmans, and David Wojnarowicz, who are all renowned for their depictions of masculinity and its tropes. Others, including Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Masahisa Fukase, Adi Nes, Hank Willis Thomas, and Akram Zaatari, offer ethnically and culturally diverse perspectives. A number of female artists—Laurie Anderson, Annette Messager, Tracey Moffatt, and Marianne Wex—explore the uncomfortable and invasive nature of the male gaze and younger artists such as Sam Contis, Andrew Moisey, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Elle Pérez, offer a 21st-century perspective of maleness through the lens of identity and global politics. Each chapter in the book opens with an essay by a key thinker in the fields of art, history, culture, and queer studies. Spanning decades and continents, this exploration shows how increasingly difficult it is to define masculinity.