Photographer: Mati Gelman
Models: Amir Morris, Chad Sapp, Mariano Rubin, Joel Dixon, Jonzu, Kyle Michael Kuhlman, Kai Jordan, Logan Compton, Justin Schlabach, Rudy Bundini, JChang, Ty Talley, Wooty Booty
In his latest series, “Trending Deities,” New York based fine art photographer Mati Gelman explores the parallels between ritual and worship in both religion and social media and how they can be manipulated to greatest effect by those who best understand the platform and the inherent power that can be mined from it.
Western culture treats the male nude as homoerotic, regardless of context, and directly links it to queerness and homosexuality.
By proudly cultivating the nude male form on social media, Gelman’s subjects have, in essence, transformed the platform into an altar – worshipping sex, beauty, and queerness.
This series explores social media models through the juxtaposition of ancient religious elements in order to depict the current ritualistic practices employed by the platform’s users. Instead of spending time in houses of worship, we devote it to our devices. We “pray” to these new “deities” with our likes and our comments and our shares. It is a ritual we partake in multiple times a day; for many of us, almost obsessively.
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