Photographer and artist, Chris Twiney, subverts gender in his America Appeal Catalogues. Here is what he has to say about the series:
The America Appeal Catalogues contain a collection of advertisements (nine female ads, nine male ads) produced by one brand, American Apparel. In this series I question the differences between the sexes as portrayed in fashion advertising. After choosing specific advertisements to target, I sourced similar clothing, locations and set-up photo shoots to recreate the ads, keeping everything the same but changing the gender of the model. Only minimal editing to photos was done to match the original advertisements. Where there was text in the original ad, I copied the style of the text (colour, font, size and placement) for continuity purposes, but changed the words to undermine the brand.
In changing the gender of the model from female to male, I remove the pleasure of the heterosexual male gaze. Although a homosexual male gaze may have been introduced, the work cannot be viewed as entirely homoerotic, as the sexually suggestive poses I adopt are typical of a female, not a male. There is therefore an element of humour in the work. To develop this further, I produced the second catalogue, which changes the gender of the model from male to female. Given there are no references to sex where males advertise American Apparel clothing, replacing the male with a female removes the ability for a male gaze entirely.
I presented the images in magazine format so the viewer would feel overwhelmed by a sea of similar images. In presenting the two catalogues together, the viewer is forced to see the vast difference in the way the genders are portrayed by media.
C H R I S T W I N EY