Source unknown – Title Unknown (20XX)

This could almost be a frame from Ryan McGinley’s Yearbook–same colored paper backdrop and a single studio light.

Unlike McGinley, however, this lacks the grimy, bleaching grain and the body objectification is way too unsubtle.

I like it–which is saying something because I have a strong bias against studio photography.

Explaining what I like about it is going to be a bit of a minefield because the things I like exist–moreover are facilitated–by being in tension with things that are hell of problematic.

For example, I dig the single, angled overhead light. It contributes to a pleasant peach skintone that’s just on the realistic side of hyper-stylization. Conversely, it also accentuates the oddity of the pose–the model has his back arched, his stomach sucked in and three-quarters of his ass is held just off the ground by his left leg.

I love that the texture of his scrotum borders on the synesthetic–sight as touch spectrum…but it is kind of disturbing that the rest of his body is so plastic-like (which could be the lighting, but is most-likely indicative of a Canon full frame camera).

The pose in tandem with the eye contact and the fact that the right frame edge amputates both the boys legs makes me uncomfortable. It’s like trying to interpret mixed signals. On the one hand this image seemingly goes out of its way to be respectful in its depiction; on the other, it’s still entirely prurient.

I feel like if the boy had an erection at least the impetus for the image and the image itself would be more in line. Hell, it’d almost even be even better if the boy had just masturbated to orgasm and made a cummy mess of his chest and tummy.

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