The composition here is certainly not The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp; but at least it’s thoughtful enough to present a legible staging: 16 seemingly male-bodied persons in 4 groups–3 threesomes & 2 couplings.
- 4 instances of fellatio
- 2 handjobs
- 1 soixante-neuf situation, and
- 1 occasion of anal penetration.
It is unclear what the gent whose stroked erection marks the center of the frame is doing with his hands between his two attendants legs. (Cradling their testicles? Fingering their asses?)
And I can’t help thinking that the photographer must have had some decent art historical chops due to the pose of the fellow who is licking the reclining gent in the white shirt’s scrotum, is too much like Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus to be accidental.
Further this isn’t the worst example of the whole proximity/participation thing I am always kvetching about w/r/t close-ups.
Yes, the camera hung back to front load explicit content into the frame. But that’s probably less due to an aesthetic concern than a a necessity borne of limitation– i.e. scarcity of equipment/skill required for its operation.
Take a minute to consider each of the 4 groups independent of the others–again the composition makes this fairly easy to accomplish. What would close-up really add? Reducing the totality to a metonymy of explicit action. Does that add anything? Does seeing the sheen of saliva on an stiff cock bestow some kind of hyper-real synesthetic sensory stimuli?
Whereas in a wider shot bodies not only move in relation to each other, they retain evidence of being ground in their particular form of life.