Sherer - Trajectory
Robert Sherer is a recognised gay artist whose works directly challenge straight notions of traditional society. This striking 'Sebastian' image is one of a group based on his own childhood nostalgia and memories of his developing sexuality. In the way of children, he points out some uncomfortable truths – like the blatant homoeroticism in traditional religious imagery – which actually seems less surprising to us these days in the light of recent scandals in the Church.
Sherer - American Martyrdom
This variant takes a more obvious swipe at gay oppression, linking it to the acceptance of violence and militarism in youthful play and upbringing. These are serious (but playful) pieces and the eroticism is restrained, to be enjoyed by those who wish to do so.
The bondage and fetish ingredient is not typical of his work, although several other images feature subtle abduction and domination themes in the guise of pirate play and even shopping! There's much food for thought for those who have faulty memories of childhood innocence.
Sherer - Untitled
This last example depicts classic fetishism of a sort I don't usually cover, an example of Sherer's sharp humour. I love the phallic flask and the chromosome chart in the background.
You can see more of this work at robertsherer.com, it is a fascinating encyclopedia of 'coming of age' experiences that most of us will share or recognise. The style of these images deliberately harks back to the mid-20th century and those of a certain age will find it intensely nostalgic.
For earlier articles in this series click on the A-Z label below