“In the Closet” consists of large format images that assign homosexuality to models who do not identify as such. Using high contrast film and making sure my models never return the gaze, I sought to create moments of fantasy in which the invulnerable jock is unarmored.
Having grown up with the American fantasy of masculinity that was the jock with the varsity jacket and the stern but loving business-man father at the head of the dining room table, my perception of Americana male-ness became diluted with Goldin’s images which showcased beauty in grittier as well as more glamorous subjects. Based in part on my observations of and conversations with varsity players, through “In the Closet” I sought to present the closeted jock, the “bro” as an object of beauty, and perhaps dilute his masculinity myself.
In retrospect, I see my process of creating images for this series almost as my seeking entry into this alien world of hyper-masculinity. The images (and I) seek to navigate the fine lines that are often blurred between fraternal affection and homoerotica, boys being boys, and boys trying to be men. Michael Rumaker’s “A Day and Night in the Baths" has been tremendously influential in the conception of this series.