Amato writes: "In 1999 I began my Men In Nature series in Provincetown, Mass. I have been making images for the series for the past 21 years, photographing men wherever I traveled. However, most of the photographs in the series were made in Ptown. After feeling like I had exhausted the possibilities there, in 2017 I decided not to make anymore of the photographs in Ptown. Fast forward to 2020.
This year has been a challenging year for most people around the world. The pandemic has disrupted lives in countless ways. For an artist whose work depends on interacting with others, this time has been particularly soul crushing. Performers have found ways to build a virtual audience, painters and illustrators have been 'life' drawing from a screen and some photographers have made portraits by 'taking over' the subject’s webcam. I wasn’t able to find a way to make photographs that was satisfying for me. Living in New York City throughout the spring, even photographing someone at the recommended 6’ distance seemed risky.
When my husband and I decided to follow through on our annual plan to spend a month in Provincetown this summer, we were trepidatious but excited. After spending four months locked in our Brooklyn apartment, we packed the dogs up and set out for the Cape in mid July. I hadn’t made a photograph with serious intention since January, probably the longest stretch since I began doing this professionally in the early 1980s. I was determined to work while in Provincetown.
I set out to find some locations I hadn’t used before and employ more architectural elements, while also photographing in some familiar locations but in different ways. I didn't want the images to be repeats of what I did before. Using mostly long lenses, I was able to photograph while at a distance. The obstacles created new opportunities. In the end, I photographed six men over five sessions. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them."
Ron Amato is a Professor of Photography and Related Media at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Much of Ron’s work centers on issues of sexual identity. His seminal show of intimate self-portraits at Richard Anderson Fine Arts in NYC in 2000 earned Ron a reputation for his frank portrayal of the sexual dynamic between men. In 2016 Ron published his first monograph, The Box, which continued his exploration of these themes. The photo series and book garnered worldwide praise and won an American Photographic Artists Award for Outstanding Photography Series. Ron’s most recent project, Gay In Trumpland, is a visual representation of the hostile actions taken against the LGBTQ community by the current executive branch of the United States government.