We are all animals, and yet we find ourselves on an interminable march towards evolvement. But what happens when we forget the chaos of self-betterment, when we can share solace with our natural selves, when we let out our inner animal brutish as it may be? Amongst the androgyne furore of today, photographer Diana Gomez explores man’s escape into his inner masculinity and the solace that can be found there.
In this series, model Yousef Mansour at Wilhemina LA finds refuge as a man in mankind’s ruins. When the facade of the manmade is stripped away, as the house is burned to a shell, Yousef embarks upon the retreat into man’s inner sanctum. The desolate allowing grace and escape, contentment with isolation - there is something peaceful in the barren.
With bare skin shrouded in furs, Yousef is allowed to reach the peak of manhood: the workout begins. Laden with satisfied goosebumps that transmit to our own skin, he washes himself of the world beyond the ruins. The peace embraced whilst working out opens the path to his inner animal. Shifting between man and beast, Diana opens a window into his world; stripped of society, necessity, and norms - a world that is bare and raw.
It is here that Yousef retreats into, and his retreat is both visible and exclusive. His masculinity, epitomised during the workout, exists in a world we are usually forbidden from entering. Leaving his mark on the ruins, this is his escape, not ours. In the ruined structure that has been stripped of its excesses, Yousef can let go of his inherited human doctrines and escape into the masculine mind. The hunt is over. The workout has begun.