Here’s to the Beauty of Men

photo: Jean-Baptiste Huong

For the longest time showing the beauty of the human body was a bit of a taboo in art and artistic photography. What was completely natural for the old masters is now deemed to be too commercial to count as art. Art should not be appealing, let alone be beautiful. This is something for advertising, or in the case of the human physique: erotica.

It’s a shame really, because the human body is as good of an object for art as any, and not just as something abstract or for the sake documentary. I’m glad that the art world seems to slowly but steadily overcome this prejudice. More artists experiment with nudity, sex, even pornography. Even galleries are picking up on this. Now more than ever artists who dedicate themselves to the beauty of the human body are no longer just considered photographers, but actual artists. I think this development is very positive and we should embrace this positivity.

The following artists are 5 of 9 that will showed their work at the exhibition Instinct:

Manuel Moncayo

There is a very particular sensuality in the photos of Manuel Moncayo. By exposing his male subjects to the pureness of nature he strips down every mask, disguise, or facade that men built around them to demonstrate strength. What remains is a different kind of strength – natural beauty. We also recommend his beautiful new photo book.

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Jean-Baptiste Huong

The interplay of subject and surrounding is key to the photographs of Jean-Baptiste Huong. His portraits of men are influenced by cinematography, every photo suggests that this is just a snapshot of a whole story.

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Felix d’Eon

In his vintage style paintings Felix d’Eon he proposes a male image that on the one hand fulfills the cliche of masculinity of the old times, but also projects the fluidity of gender roles of our time onto them. He creates a male pictures that combines both the traditional manliness with female sensuality and seductive submission.

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Antonio da Silva

Antonio da Silva‘s video works and animated GIFs is testing the boundries between film art and pornography. He gives us a candid look into the sexual mind of men by objectifying their lust and pleasure.

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Neil Gilks

Neil Gilks recreation of the male body is purely focused on form, enjoying both the subtleties and complexity of line, fabrication and movement. His minimalistic portraits of men paint a picture of strength and confidence.

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The following artist was exhibiting his photographs in a double show Fallos with sculptor Arthur Gillet.

Marc Martin

Photographer Marc Martin focuses on manliness, with its apparent triviality and nonchalance, giving rise to a sensual force that oscillates between poetry and pornography. His latest book Fallos is available at Berlin book shop Prinz Eisenherz.

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Georg Meyer-Wiel

The beauty and uniqueness that you see in someone in a brief encounter has the power to give you a deeper look into them as if you would know them more. Georg Meyer-Wiel tries to capture this moment with his abstract paintings of men. His portraits are also available as an art book.

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<a href="" target="_self">Frank</a>



Frank is the founder and editor-in-chief of iHeartBerlin. He takes photos, makes videos, and writes texts mostly about what's going on in Berlin. His vision and interests have shaped iHeartBerlin since its conception back in 2007 - and he hopes to continue bringing you the best of Berlin for many years to come.