Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Crying Men

This is pretty damn cool, even if the actors are in "role" to create the tears. [Hat tip to Dr. Deb.] And I pretty much agree with her that for men to see pictures like these can help take the stigma out of men showing their emotions, at least a little bit. And in our culture, even a little bit would be a vast improvement.

Most of the men I know, including me, were taught never to show weakness when we were growing up, and especially never let "them" see you cry. What a load of shit. Because of that, most of us carry a ton of unexpressed grief, sadness, and pain locked away inside us, which contributes to disease, depression, and anxiety.

Crying, as any good therapist or spiritual teacher will tell you, is good for the soul. It helps clean out the debris that keeps us from fully enjoying life. Whenever I am able to have a good cry, I feel much space within me, and much more spacious in my life. That's good enough for me.

Crying Men

by Sam Taylor-Wood

Steidl & Partners

Crying Men is a series of photographic portraits of famous film actors. Taylor-Wood makes portraits of her subjects as actors; she shoots them in role, asking each to perform and cry for the camera and demands the actor’s investment in the process. These are no passive sitters.

Each of the resulting images is distinct; one actor recalls the hieratic clarity of a Byzantine saint whose tears appear decorative. Other images are of heroic crying where stoic restraint has broken down, there are some that display the voluptuous crying of medieval saints, there are images of cathartic crying, quiet tears of regret and grief, and yet whilst being moved by these intimate revelatory images we simultaneously know that the emotional display is being play-acted. Sam Taylor-Wood’s film and photographic works are distinguished by their subversive creation of enigmatic situations full of latent but explosive energy.

The portraits include Tim Roth, Gabriel Byrne, Laurence Fishburne, Woody Harrelson, Michael Gambon, Jude Law, Hayden Christiansen, Ryan Gosling, Robert Downey Jr., Paul Newman, Ed Harris, Benicio Del Toro, Willem Dafoe, and Kris Kristofferson.
Currently sold out (US price, $75).

Lawrence Fishburne

Robert Downey Jr.

Tim Roth

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