Ben McNutt is an artist pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Ben studies homoeroticism and masculinity throughout history and utilizes artistic media as a vehicle for his observation and interpretation of contemporary issues. Ben has been featured on blogs all around the internet and was most recently included in a group of works curated by Tammy Mercure called A New Romance for Oranbeg Press. Today we feature a selection of Ben McNutt’s photographs and found images.
“Homoeroticism is embedded in physical culture. Renditions of this embedment have appeared in every art form throughout history. Greco-roman marble sculptures present us with a physically perfected male form. Classicist paintings elongate and exaggerate the male physique. This inherent eroticism in physical culture is as present in contemporary discourse as it has been centuries before it. I find these displays of homoeroticism a paradox. They are representative of a heteronormative masculine ideal yet they are quintessentially homoerotic in my eyes. This homoeroticism is on display in museums, educational institutions, public venues, etc. This content is often disregarded as a platform for sexuality. I choose to use wrestling as a contemporary example to display alongside these works. Wrestling is homoerotic. Positions are physical. Players pin, grab, and wrap their bodies around another in order to win. The male physique is shown off by one-piece, tight-fitting spandex and nylon singlets. Body types are often in peak physical condition. Wrestlers hold strong admiration and veneration alongside each other. Wrestling has a fundamental relationship with arts and culture spanning for thousands of years. When approaching this content I see the eroticism that is on display. Framing these pieces in a specific way allows the erotic content already present within the content to then be explicitly drawn out. My work allows for sexuality throughout history to be questioned and to facilitate contemporary conversations in regards to it.”
To view more of Ben’s work, please visit his website here.