Are you sick of art history’s obsession with the gentle beauty of a female muse? Enough of these beautiful women with coy glances, flowing locks and milky soft skin — we’re ready for the men.
Nir Arieli‘s portrait series “Men” places men in traditionally feminine spaces and postures, illuminating the human characteristics that have, over time, become decidedly feminine traits. The following male muses are making us wish men felt free to explore their feminine sides more often. Behold, 11 reasons men should get in touch with a softer self. Read more about Arieli below.
“In my work I try to expose a component of masculinity that was once oppressed by common social codes,” Arieli wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “Gentleness, uncensored emotion, vulnerability –- all of these became, under the influence of the social evolution, unnatural characteristics when manifested by men.”
For his subjects, Arieli selects men who freely exhibit characteristics normally reserved for feminine territory. “They do it unapologetically and shamelessly, almost proclaiming a new forthcomingness,” Arieli explained.
It’s a large leap from Arieli’s initial photography endeavor, serving as a military photographer for an Israeli magazine. With their gentle palettes and soft gazes, Arieli’s “Men” emanate a tenderness not normally associated with masculinity. After gushing over this series, we’re beginning to question why that is.