08 Oct, 2009

Thoroughly Modern Men

Posted by: admin In: Creative Review

Liam Norvall, David Lloyd Gym, Chislehurst, Kent

WAG Lad, a new exhibition by Ewen Spencer showing at KK Outlet in London, explores 21st-century masculinity in all its tanned, plucked and waxed glory…

Spencer has an excellent eye for documenting subcultures and in his latest project he has tracked down some truly committed archetypes of the modern dandy (Liam Norvall of Bromley, shown above). 

His subjects at once adhere to traditional conventions of masculinity – they pump iron, they chase the ladies, they keep their hair neat and shiny – but are at the same time obsessed by expensive clothes, make-up and intense beauty regimes that distance them from earlier generations of young males.

Liam Norvall, Suncentre, Bromley, Kent

Spencer has followed his subjects from the salon to the gym, from the bathroom and out into the club, and snapped all the rituals and routines in between. Understandably, mirrors feature heavily throughout. 

In fact, as portraiture, Spencer’s images offer an interesting take on the nature of the subject’s gaze. Unusually as subjects, the lads rarely give Spencer’s camera any regard; they’re already far too busy looking at themselves.

Liam Norvall, Bromley, Kent

Liam Norvall, Bromley, Kent (NB is that a golden thong, Liam?)

WAG Lad is at KK Outlet, KesselsKramer’s London office and gallery space, until October 29.

KK Outlet is at 42 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB. More information at kkoutlet.com and more of Ewen Spencer’s work at ewenspencer.com.

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