In January of 2021, my husband and I decided to spend a month in Provincetown. Since we were both working remotely, it seemed like a good opportunity to experience the town in the dead of winter. There was a beautiful stillness over the town. While the light is always extraordinary on Cape Cod, the January light was extraordinary in a different way. I knew I had to make photographs. For many years I’ve been making images of men in secluded areas of the dunes, beaches and woods of Provincetown. I wanted to seize this opportunity to photograph men in places which were usually highly populated “in season.” It started with the idea of making a nude on Commercial Street and grew from there. My approach was very different from my Men In Nature series. I wanted these images to be more fantastical and have an element of whimsy. We incorporated more styling and I mixed the nature light with artificial light. The men are what you might describe as townies. Some have been there for a long time, some relocated during the pandemic. All braved the cold in ways I never could have. I almost felt guilty behind the camera in my parka. Almost.
Ron Amato is a Professor of Photography and Related Media at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Much of Ron’s work centers on issues of sexual identity. His seminal show of intimate self-portraits at Richard Anderson Fine Arts in NYC in 2000 earned Ron a reputation for his frank portrayal of the sexual dynamic between men. In 2016 Ron published his first monograph, The Box, which continued his exploration of these themes. The photo series and book garnered worldwide praise and won an American Photographic Artists Award for Outstanding Photography Series. Ron’s project, Gay In Trumpland, is a visual representation of the hostile actions taken against the LGBTQ community by the Trump administration. A recent retrospective of Ron’s Environmental Nudes can be seen on OutTraveler.com.