In my series Hold Me Tight, I explore moments of intimacy and vulnerability between my husband and two teenage sons, often while on family vacations in nature.
A kind of sensory aliveness takes hold and I see their changing bodies, in adolescence and midlife, register so much feeling. The sculptural quality of their forms reminds me of early ideas of classical beauty, and the stories and struggles of manhood in Ancient Greek myth.
Their physical interactions too, distilled in a photograph, reveal heightened tensions of closeness that are familiar scenes throughout the history of Western art, yet speak to a resonance I might not otherwise see in daily life or in contemporary representations of male relationships. Inspired by art history, psychology, and Greek myth, I explore the question of whether there exists an inherently masculine experience, reflecting on the biases of our own cultural moment of narrow societal ideas of manhood. And standing just outside their intimate circle, I recognize myself in these moments, both the masculine and feminine, at times indistinguishable, by holding up these tensions in the light.
About Allison Plass
Allison Plass is a Fine Art photographer living in NYC. She received her MA in Art History at UC Santa Barbara with a focus on gender and representation in European Art, and completed the Advanced Track Program at the International Center of Photography. She is a 2021 Critical Mass Finalist and her work has been shortlisted for the Royal Photographic Society’s International Photography Exhibition #163. In addition to receiving Honorable Mentions in the 2021 Chromatic International Photography Awards, she has shown her work internationally, both as a semi-finalist in this year’s Head On Photo Awards and as a winner of the Viewpoint Gallery International Competition 2021. She has also participated in numerous shows across the country, including Photoplace in Middlebury, Vermont and the 2020 ICP group show, #ICP Concerned: Global Images for Global Crisis. [Official Website]