The body of work, ‘no homo bro’, is an exploration of male intimacy and its relationship to homoeroticism, questioning whether one can be without the other.
As a queer individual, I’ve always been fascinated by “lad” culture. Growing up, I always struggled to obtain and sustain close friendships with straight men and could never fully comprehend why men weren’t allowed to be intimate with one another without them being gay – a term deemed to be negative. Whilst our society is widely more acceptant, traditional “toxic” masculine ideals can still prohibit men in forming intimate interpersonal bonds with one another. The series documents the lives of four straight male friends of mine over several months; composing them intimately, the work begins to challenge why visual language of male intimacy is predominately read as homoerotic, investigating the boundaries between bromance and homosexuality.
Ben Sharp is a portrait photographer, exploring contemporary culture, touching upon social and political issues, whilst adhering to the fashion and editorial sectors.
His work has been hugely influenced by coming-of-age film and documentary photographers; Ryan McGinley, Nan Goldin, Corinne Day and Wolfgang Tillmans have all been, and continue to be, huge influential figures on my practice.
For more of their work, you can visit their Instagram: @ben.ashley.sharp