Self expression can be at its most personal when we reveal our selves through nude self portrait photography, but in the age of the ubiquity of the internet and digital cameras it can at the same time seem so shallow. In the absence of the internet, none of the motivations that might apply in the modern day were in place when this collection started. It was very private, all about insecurity and lack of confidence. Over a period of 30 years things have changed, but self doubt always remains.
If I was a child of the modern day then I could have educated myself through google that, in reality, I should have little to worry about regarding my naked self. But the internet was but a pipedream when I was in my twenties – I had to deal with my issues as best I could.
Coming from a rugby fixated mining community in the 1970s, I felt profoundly unsure about so many things. I did not like what I saw of my naked self in the mirror but discovered in the mid 1980s that a camera recorded something that made me feel somehow different. Curiously, given the context and my life then being far removed from that of an artist, even in the first nude images there was a motivation to create something artistic. Over time, as the insecurity diminished, a quest for creativity came to the fore, alongside it self-acceptance and a questioning of the stereotypical male body image and what is and is not acceptable. Or beautiful.
I have five collections linked through the images above or the expanded captions below:
Male nude self portraits on film – mainly from the last millenneum
Nude male self portrait photography from the digital camera – 2002 onwards