Masculine exposure: Transgressive representations of the male nude in contemporary dance and editorial fashion photography

The male body as subject/object has taken various forms across artistic disciplines, cultures and points throughout history. Previously, the image of a virile, muscled Adonis prevailed as an idealized hegemonic masculinity. A look at contemporary visual and performing arts of the twenty-first century reveals a progressive shift towards a more inclusive range of multiple masculinities and representations of maleness, queering conventional depictions of the male form. This creative interrogation of normative gender expression on the stage and screen and in print has the potential to challenge binary constraints on gender and expand the visibility of queer, marginalized expressions of masculinity. This article employs queer gaze theory and close readings of performance as text to examine works by fashion photographer Steven Klein and choreographer John Jasperse to evaluate how the personal history, creative methodology and artistic outlook of each contemporary artist play a role in questioning traditional masculine representations via the transgressive nude male body.

Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture, Volume 3, Number 2, 1 June 2018, pp. 213-226(14)