In the months wake of the beautiful Robin Williams, and passing on of many more of our beloved talents – I discovered something fascinating. I’m always looking to artists in fields of film & photography, for insight, and to look up to. The process of thought and skill in executing such an idea/s, and the journey/s of exploration, helps me in finding my own vision – to navigate my own thinking.
I discovered recently, creative Sam Taylor-Wood/Johnson, and her incredible series ‘Crying Men, 2002-2004‘. As annotated, This sensitive, incisive series looks at the relationship between the experience of emotion and the popular culture of our time. From the gods of old Hollywood to actors who were up-and-coming when Taylor-Johnson shot them and are now central figures in modern Hollywood, Crying Men examines the relationship between the artifice inherent in acting and the release of what is inside all of us.
Almost one year ago, SLRlounge‘s Jules Ebe, writes – Crying Men is a series of photographic portraits of famous film actors that explores the relationship between society’s perception of what is masculine and attractive. Artist Sam Taylor-Wood took portraits of her subjects, well known leading men, as if they were in character. Engaging in the emotional connections, each image is a portrait not only of the man, but of the stereotype that “real men don’t cry”.
I think these photographs are so brave and bold. I remember taking a photo of myself once, crying, deep in a state of emotional breakdown. Mum & Dad had come home one evening, August 2011, from the vet, with a really bad diagnosis for Betsy, my big hairy sister. I sat on the bedroom floor, and Betsy came and decided to lay down beside me. I took a photo of myself as I cried, though I have no idea why – since, I can never even bring myself to view that photo again. She sadly passed away on Fathers Day, early September. That dark time, never fails to make me fight tears and fight back that scared feeling I felt. For an actor to cry, it must seem like an easy act. But I believe not. We’re all human. To cry, you must be recollecting some seriously upsetting, intense memories, to evoke the production of tears. Something really emotional must happen, unlike acting or faking by impassively turning on the waterworks (with the aid of an onion).
Here are Sam’s photographs –