Photographer challenges "masc for masc" culture with stunning images inspired by Renaissance paintings

Photographer Steven Peice talks about his new series of images celebrating the male form away from the hyper-masculine norm.

From photographer Steven Peice's series
Image: Steven Peice Photography

With his new series of images celebrating the male form in a more sensual, delicate way than the in-your-face hyper-masculine norm, photographer Steven Peice shares his process and what inspires him to create such striking images.

On what kind of photographer he is:

I see myself more as an image-maker as well as a photographer. I’ve never been interested in going out there and capturing reality. I was painting when I was a little kid, up until I got my first camera. At first, I just messed around with the camera, taking pictures of friends, until I realised I could incorporate my painting into photography.

On the impetus to emulate styles of painting:

When I started photography I created a lot of photos emulating the Art Deco 1920’s style photography. That changed to the Renaissance paintings. I have a tablet that I use with a pen so I can actually, in real-time, paint on my photographs.

On the inspiration for this series:

There are support groups for people to feel comfortable in their skin, but when you see gay people in the media, or how they portray themselves on Instagram, it is mostly very hyper-masculine. There aren’t a lot of things showing people that it’s not always about masc for masc. I’ve always loved Renaissance paintings, loved the delicacy of those women, how vulnerable and yet really empowered they are in those images. They are not suppressed, they are empowered, they are all shapes and sizes. I wanted to do this series with queer men from the get-go.

A naked man laying on a bed, behind him a window

If you would be interested in posing for Steven as part of this series, you can contact him at @stevenpeice on Instagram account.

This story was originally published in GCN Issue 360.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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