Sunday, October 8, 2017

Book Review: 'Exhibition 2017' by Michael Stokes

But Michael Stokes photographed man and the images he is able to offer in this impressive book are stunning indeed. Stokes' work has been seen and lauded in his previous books Turnon: Sports and Turnon: Muscles, and in books that honor veterans who have lost limbs and overcome those losses by embracing physical fitness, but it is here, in this large and richly colorful collection, that he changes his stance a bit and decides to forego the paraphernalia of sports and just adore the human body – very often a study in massive tattooing.

It has been said that MASCULINTY (the book) sums up everything that makes Stokes' work special: strength, sex appeal and the perfection of the male body--staged in brilliant pictures that focus on the essential without denying the artist's eye for details. Stokes' models/men are powerful and seem to be ready for any encounter of any kind, be that hostile or amorous. He knows that fine line between raw sex appeal and innocent reserve and that is one reason this cluster of men are so appealing to everyone. Yes, there is complete frontal nudity here - just like on the Greek and Roman statues! Only with Stokes the men are a bit more `stoked' than with other artists. No disappointments here - just magnificent men out to strut and share their inordinately perfect physiques...etc. Grady Harp, January 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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