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by Joseph Brennan - Okt 2010


Joseph Brennan takes an in-depth look at gay men through the contemporary art comera lens.

When describing art in the Western world today, there are two metaphors that are commonly used: the window and the mirror. 

The window, as defined by professors Jay Boler and Diane Gromala, is used to provide an objective view of what lies "on the other side", while the mirror is where the viewer is "invited to reflect on their relationship to the work".

Both ideas are useful tools for navigating the art of contemporary photographers whose works explore male homosexuality.

Lens as a window
(...) Belgian photographer Yves De Brabander has similar interests in what has been. "I usually try to study scenes from European film classics... and try to match them with both atmospheric classic paintings and works from the great American snapshot photographers."
De Brabander says he tends to isolate his models "to create a fashionable semi-erotic report of individuals in an environment they have never seen before".

His 2004 Wind, for example, was from his Settled for nothing now series in which four boys in four desolate locations search for the natural elements. For his Ecce Homo series, he and conceptual artist Dave Schweitzer modernised Christian saints and mythological creatures - the results including a bullet-ridden Saint Sebastian (opposite).



selfportrait in antwerp studio
Selfportrait in Antwerp studio. 2020
at work in antwerp studio
At work in Antwerp studio. 2020