This portrait is part of amini-series of 4 portraits I did, each depicting the fragility of the modern society's notion of masculinity.
Each piece in this series features four distinct visual dynamics
1) A moustache as a symbol of masculinity, 2) a failed, melancholic gaze with half-closed eyes, 3) a varying degree of sexual objectification and 4) a dimension of time.
Wherever you live, one of the most traumatising perks of being a gay person is your constant battle with the idea of masculinity.
As with many of the most pressing questions in life, you end up in a love-hate relationship with whatever that word seems to capture. There's a reason why so many gay people populate gyms. As the notion of masculinity transforms, it transforms our needs and desires too. And it is this dynamic that I am after.
This piece stands out from the rest of the mini-series with its focus on Istanbul in the background, depicted as if in demise through muted shades of blue. Istanbul works as a great backdrop for the theme of being trapped between the past and the present due to its history. I chose to depict the sultan as the man from the past but wearing a Nirvana hoodie, a playful poke at the Turkish notion of masculinity trapped between traditional and contemporary values.