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by Blake Little
Ships have a manifest to declare the contents of what they are shipping. The images in Blake Little’s latest book Manifest are quickly understood by the senses, absorbed with reactions that are immediate and instinctual. Like a ship’s manifest, they form a mission statement of this photographer’s specific vision of men, in their environments, in their relationships, in their skin. man·i·fest * display or show (a quality or feeling) by one’s acts or appearance; demonstrate; * readily perceived by the sense especially of sight Manifest is a progression from his groundbreaking book, The Company of Men. Little’s documentation of a new gay masculinity continues as he pushes his portraiture in different ways. His visual vocabulary has evolved from the more formal structure of his earlier pictures, taking more chances and benefiting from this freedom. This time, the photographs are were taken both in and out of his Los Angeles studio and in England, Canada and all over the US. Some are more intimate than he has ever presented before, surprisingly so. He also captures couples for the first time, presenting portraits of real relationships. Manifest features 104 remarkable photos of compelling men with a powerful, humorous and heartfelt forward by actor and icon Nick Offerman.
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