HOMME LIBRE - CARLA BOREL
Drawing on themes of identity, community and intimacy, Homme Libre explores ideas of masculinity seen from a female perspective.
The striking and intimate portraits are of men the photographer is either close friends with, very loosely knows, or met in the street or on the tube. Straight, gay, trans, and from various professions and backgrounds, the sitters in Homme Libre have an edge of some sort, be it in their stance and attitude, an air of mystery and romance, strength and vulnerability, or they have reminded Borel of someone she used to know or saw in a film.
Each sitter is unified by the same white T-shirt which bears a sailor drawing and a quote by Charles Baudelaire: Homme libre, toujours tu cheriras la mer (Free man, always you will cherish the sea), from which the series takes its name. One roll of 24 exposure film is used for each sitter, and the series has been shot entirely outside Borel’s studio in Bethnal Green, East London.
In Homme Libre, Borel also aims to examine her relationships with the opposite sex, how she communicates and connects on platonic and romantic levels, and how this translates in her portraits.