Michael Young —Hidden Glances
"Hidden Glances" is a series of photographs made from vintage gay pornography calendars published during my “lost years” – from when I was beginning to recognize my sexuality as a youth until I came out in 2000. These images are hand cut, layered and then photographed. By eliminating the presence of exposed skin in the top layer, one muscular silhouette becomes a window that both reveals and conceals parts of another month’s figure.
The use of calendars is strategic; they chronicle and mark time. In my case they represent a long period in my life when others assumed I was straight, or I was told that being gay was wrong and being heterosexual was the only acceptable way to be. Ironically, the men in these calendars portray sexualized (for that time period) heterosexual archetypes that many in the gay community had appropriated. These "manly" men that society was trying to train me to become ultimately became the men I longed to look at and galvanized my true identity.
In essence, the work is a visual compression of those years when I wanted to look at other guys but could only risk taking quick glimpses because I was afraid that my gaze would linger too long and my homosexuality exposed.
Michael Young is a lens-based artist who has recently been named a Top 50 artist in Photolucida’s Critical Mass 2021, a winner of Feature Shoot’s 2021 Emerging Photography Award, a recipient of honorable mention at the Center for Photographic Art’s 2021 Exhibition, and a finalist for Klompching Gallery’s 2021 Fresh exhibition. He is a featured emerging artist in the recent issue of Musée Magazine Issue No. 26-Spaces, and work from his series Hidden Glances was published in Der Greif issue #14 YES TO ALL. His work has been shown in group shows in Paris, Berlin, Sydney, at Fotofestival Lenzburg (Switzerland), in New York, and across the US. Young’s work has also been featured online in Humble Arts Foundation, F-Stop Magazine, Pineapple Zine and Balaclava.Q.