days feminism and pin-up modeling co-exist quite happily. People who
identify as feminist take pin-up photos for themselves and/or others.
Pin-up images and new pin-up photography have become celebrated.
Although pin-up photographs and art are increasingly embraced, for
the most part pin-ups have stayed squarely on the female end of the
gender spectrum. Rion Sabean is
working to change that by photographing men in standard pin-up
positions. Sabean calls his photos Men-Ups, and the images are
fascinating, calling attention to the fabricated positioning of the
pin-up models. Sabean’s work forces the viewer to reckon with the ideas
of what poses are considered “natural” for women or men.
In a world where sexy photos of men most often fall into the “Thunder from Down Under”
category, Sabean’s images offer a refreshing, gender-twisting change
from the norm. Images of a man dressed as a mechanic with his butt
propped up on a tire or a guy with his legs thrust in the air next to a
shovel and some dirt call attention to the contrast between masculine
attire and feminine posing. In our culture where gender images are so
often polarized, I really appreciate the absurdity of the men-ups and
their ability to juxtapose the trappings of masculinity with the
posturing of a high-femme.
Men-Ups 2012 calendars are now on sale at Sabean’s website. I can’t think of a better way to keep track of what day it is in the coming year.