Toxicboy : Mikel Marton

Among the my favorite young photographers working today Mikel Marton stands alone as the artist to watch in his exploration of art vs porn and the redefining of male beauty. His work extends beyond the typical beefcake poses of typical Male Nude photography ( he also shoots a series of warrior women).  He also turns the camera on himself as often as his models , which  I must say is refreshing to see a photographer  give up that safety behind the camera, though upon seeing Mikel Marton it's no wonder he doesn't mind modeling himself. The 24 year old Canadian is quite the looker. From his Toxicboy website you can see many of his photo series which blur the lines between gender and sex. The sumptuous use of light and color in with the glossy sheen of fashion editorials contrast to what we usually assume denotes pornography; the last great taboo in Western culture :a erect penis. 
"Male sexuality has become demonized in many ways, and I aim to prove that even an erect penis can be beautiful, and a sensitive, powerful artistic. My self portraits are explorative, transforming the captor into the captive. Exposing myself as I would expose other models is to give up the dominant power that many photographers thrive on. In front of the camera rather then behind the camera I take on a whole new submissive power. This idea of power exchange is quite sexual in itself, and brings a new context to the relationship between model and photographer."
My own work as an artist, both film maker and photographer deals with this very dilemma, and while we have vastly differing styles I relate to Marton's work and react to much of it emotionally. The eroticism is always present but so is the ineffable qualify and style that makes this more than your typical beefcake shots. Even when on his  more explicit blog he shoots himself as a 1950s beefcake hustler he transcends that with gay camp knowing as well as the pitch perfect eye of a well studied artist.

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