If The Power Issue were to have a cover, it’d be Philadelphia-based photographer CM Eckenrode‘s “Hands Closed”. Looking at the picture, it seems as if the subject has been violently restrained. Taken with the title, however, one gets the impression that the constriction’s self-inflicted. True explanation remains a mystery, much like the definition of power.
It may help to know, however, that Eckenrode’s work revolves around his coming out period. Like another We Want Your Art contributor, namely Eric Sizemore, Eckenrode’s images address the struggle between exterior and interior control, exploring the contradictory dynamics of self-acceptance. While most of the coming out series, appropriately called “Untied”, takes place in shadows, the final image explodes with blinding light. Still, the male figure (Eckenrode) hugs his naked body, curled up as if waiting for attack. While he’s escaped the straps of the closet, new power struggles await.
If you think “Hands Closed” speaks loudly, head on over to Eckenrode’s website to see the 33-year old artist’s new series, in which he reconstructs the body through layered and pieced together images.