Balls is a whimsical statement about man’s vanity, every bit as real as any woman’s vanity. Balls takes the very essence of his virility, and unabashedly presents it to the world in his outstretched hand. This piece embodies man’s universal experience struggling with predetermined images of beauty and masculinity, and the shame we feel when we believe we do not fit those images. Balls is triumphant in his confidence and pride celebrating the very thing that is unique about him, and in so doing reaffirming that the human body is inherently beautiful in all its varied forms.
When working with a live model my inspiration typically comes from the model himself. Either thru his physical form, his spirit and energy, or the way in which he moves and poses for me. In the case of “Balls”, I was not feeling a connection with him on any level, which initially frustrated me. My first reaction to him was not one of inspiration but more of concern. The model was a man in his early to mid twenties yet his testicles hung very low, much lower than any man of any age I had ever seen. More than wanting to sculpt his physical form, I found myself wanting to create some type of support for his balls in order to alleviate what I thought could be a physical discomfort. I thought the physical discomfort could also be a source of shame for the male ego. For me, this became the story.