Thursday, July 8, 2010

Homoerotic Photography Is A Personal Experience

The assumptions of homoerotic photography prompt feelings of discomfort in some individuals. Homoerotic photography, as with all art, is a direct personal experience that is open to interpretation. The interpretation is not limited to the photographer. The photographer possesses an understanding of the picture they took. The photographer decides on everything from the composition to the subject. Artistically, the photographer attempts to capture on film a sense of being, emotional, physical or intellectual, through their choices.

The discomforting problems that viewers of homoerotic photography grapple with are their own experiences. While it may be argued that knowing exactly what the photographer was thinking or doing when they took the pictures may help a viewer appreciate the picture, it simply doesn't matter. Art appreciation is a completely individual experience. The viewer of a photograph may feel everything the photographer intended or nothing or something in between.

No matter the form that art takes, the individual experience is a combination of reaction, provocation and response. The response to homoerotic photography does not have to be positive or negative. A mixed response to a composition that requires thought afterwards is provocative, because likely this is the photograph that will be remembered.

Unfortunately, in modern conservative circles erotic is synonymous with pornographic. The difference considered negligible by some is that homoerotic photography utilizes emotion, embraces it, promotes it and typically provokes it. The sensations associated with the erotic are usually confined to sensual and intimate moments, between lovers. Pornography has no emotional ingredient and demands none in return. Pornography is simply about the physical, naked in a rawness that serves only to devolve humanity to lustful urges.

Homoerotic photography involves nudes both solitary and in groups, young and old, male and female. It is not solely dedicated to nudist or naturist images, however. A woman leans against the side of a window. A sheer curtain billows out from a faint breeze, both accentuates and hides her nudity. The long legs disappear into shadow and there is only a hint of light outside. The woman's expression is a mixture of regret and yearning. This example of homoerotic photography asks whom is she waiting for and will they ever come. Is it a forbidden lover, a lost husband or a love not yet experienced?

At its best, homoerotic photography elicits an immediate emotional response and the mind of the viewer is then allowed to ask the questions or make up the answers that satisfy them. So which answer is the right one? The one the photographer understood? The one the viewer assumes? Or a third alternative altogether? In homoerotic photography, they are all the right answer. Because the right answer is the answer the individual experiences, intended or not.