In an age where photographs lie as much as they tell the truth, the Polaroid retains a particular grip on the real. For the most part, whatever this breed of camera eats up is what it spits out, at the very same moment. Yet in his newest series "Fractured," photographer Jeremy Kost uses the Polaroid to explore a space between dreams and reality, showing the distance between the two isn't as wide as you may have thought. His multiple-exposure Polaroids capture beautiful nude men in a sun-soaked wonderland, at once in this world and somewhere else.
"The title really refers to these ideas of broken visions, memories, dreams, desires and the overarching sense of longing," Kost explained to The Huffington Post. "The images, for me, are all in this idea of a bit removed while still being so present. Specifically, they are all super masculine, so the word fractured, for me, represents this sort of masculine, aggressive action while also referring to the broken plane in the images as well."
It's interesting that Kost describes the ruptured nature of his work as masculine, since the fuzzy-edged, sensual nude depictions adhere more to the female nude models so often captured through the male gaze throughout art history. Just as each model's identity is chopped and screwed in Kost's visual haze, so notions of masculine and feminine are similarly scrambled.
Now that digitally enhanced photos are omnipresent, Kost splits from the norm, crafting images that drift away from actuality yet remain fastened in the physical moment, never entering the digital realm. "I’d like to think that I’ve really been pushing the boundaries of Polaroid for quite some time," Kost continued. "When we last spoke I was focused on structured, layered collages of nightlife characters and now, this body of work similarly abstracts the subject, but within the individual Polaroid."
"Each image really 'fractures' the facade and identity of the boy," he continues, "pushing him one step away from reality and one step closer to a fantasy or a dream. One could argue that these things can be done digitally, but as Glenn O’Brien writes in his amazingly touching essay for the book, they are 'one of one'… You can’t hold the moment in your hand in any other way, even in a print made on Kodak paper. Polaroids are and always will be, the moment."
Kost's nudes complicate notions of identity, gender and desire, all while reviving and reworking the much revered medium of the Polaroid. See Kost's ethereal figures below and find a copy of his the photography book, released by Damiani and DAP, on Amazon.