More than 15 years following the release of ‘Lost Boys,’ Slava Mogutin presents a new photography book—bestowing queer culture with an ever-changing face
In 2006, Slava Mogutin published Lost Boys. It was his first monograph: a collection of incendiary portraits and landscapes, documenting the decade gone by since his exile from Russia. It was Mogutin’s writing—forthright, candid, unapologetically gay—that angered the authorities of his home country. But his photography practice would prove to be equally provocative, and agonizingly intimate; aptly described as “a cross between porn and fashion, pop culture and marginal kink… [a journey] into the different obsessions and fetishes of the cosmopolitan urban youth culture.”
Analog Human Studies is the continuation of that legacy, more than 15 years after the fact: a compilation of Lost Boys outtakes, sat next to hand-written poems and editorial work shot around New York, Berlin, London, Madrid, Buenos Aires, and beyond. Mogutin resituates the art of the queer portrait, in tune with a shifting global culture—bestowing it with an open-ended face, expanding its meaning beyond sex and love, into the realm of platonic community and the gritty mundane.
His subjects are far-ranging: performance artist Ron Athey, looking ahead with a drink in hand; “terrorist drag” trailblazer Christeene, at work in a sun-drenched studio; tattooists Brooke Candy and Kyle England, shirtless, mid-embrace. In between, he slots LA palm trees, off-the-cuff moments at Jacob Riis Beach, floral arrangements, and shameless nudes.
“Every portrait is a collaboration based on trust, compassion, and mutual respect,” says the artist of this latest work. It’s more “pansexual and intergenerational” than what came before—an “exploration of transgressive and radical expressions of human nature and sexuality.” Analog Human Studies, in that sense, acts as a sort of blank slate: gay life, documented honestly, ripe for the viewer to interpret how they like. In refusing to conform—in letting fantasy exist next to the concretely real—Mogutin opens up a world of queer possibility.
Slava Mogutin: Analog Human Studies is on view at Bureau of General Services — Queer Division through June 4.