Through personal portraiture, UK documentary-style photographer Rosie Matheson, who splits her career between London and Brighton, explores the nuance of boyhood and masculinity in her latest project, Boys. The project goes up today, Friday, July 27 at London's Black and White Building as her first solo exhibition.
"I started shooting these images late 2015, documenting how young men express themselves, capturing their emotions, looking at how they present themselves in everyday life," Matheson tells PAPER about the project. "Boys explores expressions of masculine identity at a moment when the subcultures which give young men a voice are increasingly invisible. Ultimately, the work is about people who don't realize how special and interesting they are, and whose faces tell their story."
Additionally, Matheson says she was moved to make the project because of her comfort in shooting male subjects, saying that in addition to already being effortlessly cool, "there was no pressure to make them look sexy." But what makes the project really resonate in terms of current events, is how it helps redefine and re-frame patriarchal and harmful definitions and ideas of maleness. "It has now really tied in with the current change in the definition of masculinity and the challenge on the male stereotype and I think that it's so important and a vital conversation that needs to be continued," Matheson says.
Click through these dreamy photos of Matheson's Boys, plus a preview of the corresponding short documentary she made on Super8, in collaboration with filmmaker Kaj Jefferies.