I Love You, Man
Most of my photographic work is a pursuit of home, a quest to find a place where I belong, to make connections with others in the face of an enduring sense of disconnectedness. “I Love You, Man” is a series of portraits of the men who have played a part in making a home for me, men who have helped heal that sense of dislocation.
Why men specifically, rather than also including dear friends who are women? It seems in our contemporary Western culture, there is a crisis of friendship among men. Most men desire deeply to connect with others, but have lost the knowledge of how to do it. Expressing love to another man has been reduced to a punch line in dude/bro movies, rather than being a complicated, multi-faceted relationship that produces a deep sense of knowing someone and being known by the other in return. However, I am encouraged to see that this is changing, and I want to honor the men I’ve known who are stepping forward into this vulnerable territory.
These portraits are an exploration of friendship through an exchange of gazes with the men who have joined me on this journey of relational intimacy. These photographs fill me with love. They remind me to be grateful for the love I’ve been given. They remind me to love in return. But the images also sting with a reminder of existential solitude, of the continual dance of relationship between our selves and each other, of the ongoing desire to see someone, and to be seen by them in return.
(this project is a work-in-progress)