“A catalog of gay male beauty” is how photographer Brandon Norris described his exhibit, A Sobering Affect, to us. And the same could be said of the crowd at last night’s opening! By recruiting models from his regular lineup of subjects at Booty Call and from among the Moreboys, Brandon easily drew a crowd of fashionable, meticulously art-directed partiers. So as the handsome subjects gazed out of prints on the wall, there was a handsome crowd assembled to gaze right back in at them.
This show is a departure from Brandon’s usual Booty Call portraits, for which he usually has only a few minutes at a party to arrange a photo. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time,” he said, “I could slow down and take a real portrait, something a bit more meaningful.” Extending his time with his subjects gave him the opportunity to explore them and hone in on what he felt made each one beautiful: In one shot, it’s long blond hair framing an androgynous face; in another, it’s broad shoulders; and in another, it’s the curve of a back. “I wasn’t necessarily looking at what is sexually beautiful,” he said, “but what’s unique.”
So! What’s next? Brandon’s moving to London in a few months, and he’s looking forward to doing more street photography and environmental portraits. Another project that he has in mind is photographing a stereotypical English gentleman: the kind that has a pipe, a top hat, distinguished whiskers, good breeding…and may not actually exist outside of a PG Wodehouse novel. That’s okay though! Whether in a studio, at a party, or on the street, Brandon’s work has always served as a sort of prettiness-magnet, drawing out the eye-catching details that might otherwise have gone undetected. We’re sure his London projects won’t disappoint.
A Sobering Affect can be seen at Electric Works Gallery until September 5. The gallery, located at 130 8th Street, is open Wednesday – Friday: 10-6 and Saturdays: 11-5