Gay Photographer Reinvents the Pin-Up With Manly Men



When 26-year-old Florida photographer Rion Sabean began his latest project — a series of photographs of men in classic pin-up poses — he had no idea the reaction they'd inspire in people. Sabean's "Men-Ups" casts men in classically masculine configurations (the bearded, the burly, the blue collar) and positions them in Vargas-style poses that are usually reserved for the ultra-feminine women. The result, which he's hoping to turn into a calendar by year's end, is thought-provoking, riveting, and amusing. The Advocate talked with Sabean about his "Men-Ups."

 What inspired the project?
In essence, the project was something that I knew for a long time had to happen, but I just hadn't worked out how I would achieve it. I know around the time that I did start formulating it all, that I was taking a feminist literature class that was really triggering these really great reactions with me that probably pushed my creatively even further. 

How have men and women reacted to the images? Differently? What is the typical reaction?

I would say that in general the response has been pretty positive on both sides. Females tend to really enjoy the focus being taken away from them for once, while males seem to think that it's more comical. I would say the overarching reaction people cling to is that they're fun and just beautiful to look at. But then it gets murkier depending on sexual orientation, because I've noticed that a lot of older straight males that I know, that while they don't seem to dislike the works, have said "I don't get it."

Tags: Photography