Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Project Advisor 1
“The act of looking appraisingly at a man, studying his body and asking to photograph him, is a brazen venture for a woman; for a male photographer, these acts are commonplace, even expected.” ––Sally Mann
This collection of images was taken at high school baseball and football games; in apple orchards where men came from far and wide to race souped-up Subarus for rally cross; on tennis courts; at the only ice hockey rink for more than fifty miles; at the Aqueduct race track; while on a road trip across the country; in my father’s home; and in many other locations. I took these pictures while my brother, my friends––as well as men and boys I’d never met––played, sparred, and expressed a typical masculinity that most American males are indoctrinated to from a young age, that is, sports related americana.
I was attracted, have always been fascinated, by the excitement, the exuberance, the familiar brotherhood which they express. It has long appealed to me––tough love, gruff admiration, unflinching skill and support. I took these pictures because these men are truly beautiful, they are strong, muscular, virile, skilled and ‘masculine’ in typical American ways, to certain varying degrees–– but they are also vulnerable, tender, shy. I don’t think that the invasive and appraising quality of my camera alone could have created this effect––although this side of masculinity is rarely touted in sports propaganda and its related imagery, or in the normalized and historical conversation regarding male gender in this country.
I took these photos with a 28mm lens, which forced me to get close, physically, to my subject, sometimes to the point of discomfort. I was able to search for and find the moments in which a certain internality of expression was revealed. These men responded to my camera with embarrassed posturing, genuine curiosity, and an honest and gentle humanity––this came not at the expense of either the power of myself as the artist nor they as the subject. Despite my otherness, a kind camaraderie would develop, with the hopeful result being a set of photographs in which something more than excitement or exuberance is explored.
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McCann, Emma L., "One of the Boys" (2015). Senior Projects Spring 2015. 283.