SIR is a fittingly weighty tome published by Taschen, laden with glossy photographs of men. Some – Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Karl Lagerfeld – are instantly recognisable; others are unsung heroes of editorial shoots, advertising campaigns or subjects chosen as muses rather than for their name.
In this portfolio, Testino captures the enigma of masculinity, juxtaposing buff, titan males with the über feminine; candid nude portraits with highly stylised fashion; revealing portraits and rowdy ensemble pieces. Combined, the photographer presents the allure of maleness, where males are, at last, subject to the scrutiny of The Gaze.
“I suppose you could see this whole book as a sort of conversation with my camera about curiosity and freedom,” Testino notes in the introduction. “I feel personally that we should all be open to imagine things beyond the ordinary and the everyday.”