Artist’s Statement

In the gay community, as well as the wider community, we are bombarded with imagery that promotes a specific ideal of physical beauty. Of course, this is nothing new–for centuries, this idealized physique has been the central subject and inspiration for artists. Perhaps the difference is that this imagery is more pervasive today, and we are faced with a never-ending stream of opportunities to compare and judge ourselves relative to this mainstream ideal. In my work, I am attempting to broaden and comment on this flood of imagery, using traditional techniques of portrait and nude photography to explore the role of societal expectations in our personal body image.

In my own lifetime, the gay community has also shown a steady progress of mainstreaming. Much has been gained in this journey, and today, we as gay people enjoy unprecedented freedom and equality. Something has also been lost, however, and the feeling of being part of a unique community is slowly diminishing. Much of my work is infused with a nostalgia for these disappearing subcultures and the playful imagery that went with them.

David Gray

YogaBear Studio