Bound began as a series responding to censorship of male nudity in art and society.

When I started photographing the nude figure in 2013 there was little contemporary art showcasing nudity but I was not prepared for how relentlessly we have turned our backs on our own bodies, especially images of men.

Women’s bodies are uncovered everywhere but when we see men we rush to cover them up, make a joke or, worse, turn away calling it porn or caging it as merely “for homosexual” viewing.

I discovered that challenging the idealized notion of the male hero in particular – armored and invincible – and even suggesting the importance of vulnerability is a crack in the armor that many people are not prepared to confront.

I watch sometimes as visitors actually run or start making uncomfortable remarks in the presence of naked men’s bodies which of course would rarely happen in the presence of naked women’s bodies. We accept the naked woman but why not the naked man?

We speak of being naked when we are found out in a conversation. We hold ourselves close in our coats, blankets and towels when we feel too seen or too vulnerable. We steer the conversation away from difficult realities with invisible walls, paths not taken.

Bound explores these seemingly infinite moments of covering, unwrapping or struggling to be free of invisible constraints. These images conjure birth, wedding, being held, holding. The womb. A shroud.

Bound consists of 8 photographic works, 2 are 18″ X 27″ and 2 are 27″ x 18″ archival prints with velvet lamination on aluminum and four are 50″ x 75″ dye sublimation on art silk – all available as editioned to 25 plus one AP.

© 2023 Ann-Marie Stillion / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York