A WORLD-CLASS photographic exhibition focusing on the representation of the male form over 160 years of photography will open in Bathurst on Saturday.
The Unflinching Gaze: Photo Media & The Male Figure features more than 200 images from across Australia and overseas dating back to the 1850s.
It has been curated by Bathurst Regional Art Gallery director Richard Perram and is a very personal exploration of the subject.
The images are all of male figures but not all are gay figures.
Mr Perram said he was conscious of the context he was creating when he approached artists and gallery owners for permissions to include their photos in the exhibition.
“I, as a gay man, have selected these works and they’re really about my gaze and placing these works in a different context,” he said.
“We have been to all the artists and said this is the exhibition we are creating and this is the context.
“Just one of the artists didn’t come back to me because he obviously felt uncomfortable, but that is OK.”
The exhibition includes historic and contemporary fine art photography and film, fashion photography, pop videos and homoerotic art.
Mr Perram said the images ranged from the beautiful to the banal to the confounding.
Among the artists included in the exhibition are American icons Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol; Europeans such as Eadweard Muybridge and Baron Wilhelm Von Gloeden; and Australians including Beaufoy Merlin and Max Dupain.
Minors must be accompanied by an adult to view the exhibition and one closed-off section is strictly adult-only.
To celebrate the exhibition launch on Saturday, a forum of Australian and international artists will run from 10am-4pm before Arts Minister Don Harwin conducts the official opening at 6pm.
Walk on the Wilde Side – an LGBTIQ-friendly party at The Carrington – will follow the official opening.