Milwaukee born Austn Fischer @austnfischer is a photographer whose practice explores the nuanced picture of gender, intimacy and class in modern American life. Using his own personal experience of family trauma, he first turned his camera to documenting teens from Wisconsin who found themselves estranged from popular views and their ability to speak and have a voice. As Fischer began to take on fashion assignments, his practice found a new direction. In new ongoing works like ‘American Sugar’, he mixes collaboration, set design and performance to unpick myths of American masculinity. Austn is currently studying at University of the Arts London pursuing a BA in fine art photography.
About the project
All my life I was told how to be a boy. I was told that I needed to play sports, love women, and put myself first. As I begin to experience things on my own, I begin to realize what true masculinity is. I began to explore the most extreme forms of male identification. I started to look at Drag queens and their influence on masculinity. Drag has always questioned what it means to be a man through the use of performance, makeup, clothing, and set design. Looking at how Drag queens present themselves, I began a series of self-portraits and photographs depicting what masculinity means to me. I began to think about all the ideas that were instilled in me about gender and started to question what they meant. Looking at paintings and the romanticized female nude I explore objectification from the male perspective. Looking at classics works of art I am learning just how involved masculinity is. Looking at the ideas from the mind of painters I really began to understand how men perceive women. We consider art to be a very exclusive club for the high class and the elite; the place where women were first seen nude and put on display. 95% of all the nudes in the MET are female when less than 5% of the artists are female. Through the use of props, set design, and self- portraiture I begin to explore how I interpret masculinity.
“Sugar Dream” is an exploration of my masculinity.