This portrait of Jacob Hoffman is one of my newest works from my wider series Masc. Shot in the sitter's homes, I looked to queer the formal portrait, reclaiming it from outdated associations with social power and gender stereotyping. As a queer person, I’ve always been particularly interested in the notion of a contemporary queer masculinity, and aimed to celebrate the diversity of how my sitters expressed their own identity.
My impetus was that I felt queer representation was often skewed in photography - either the result was incredibly preformative and extravagant, or deeply intimate, a “behind the scenes”. Although I appreciate the validity and importance of both these approaches, I wanted to make photographs that had a sense of dignity and directness, and served as a vibrant update to the traditional formal portrait.
Jacob is currently a photographic and multimedia artist studying at Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen. I chose his portrait in particular to enter as I personally feel he exemplifies many of the values of the John Byrne Award - he is part of a new generation of young Scottish visual arts talent, and an inspiration for future queer youth.