I began Objectify me, Woman! with hesitance. I wasn’t sure if I could find male models that would be open to having their outer appearance be reinterpreted. Putting aside my concern, I approached friends and acquaintances for the project. I was surprised by their enthusiasm and support.
I didn’t set out to make this series about identity, but the theme itself has again infiltrated my art-making process. It shares a premise with Accents, my other work on identity through self-portraiture.
The idea of this series came from the question: What is gender blur? This pushed me out to explore the gray areas of our sexuality. I purposely disguise these men by painting their faces like those of their female equivalents. I pose them in ways that are unfamiliar to their form. I photograph them in moments of vulnerability and isolation — moments immortalized in many art forms that feature women.
The process of making these images is built on trust, as I photograph them in their home. Within the space of an hour, I apply their makeup, pick a favorable spot, pose them, and click! By the end of the hour, I am gone.
My final images express the ideal behavior that is expected of women, only encased in the male form.