As travel to the UK is still looking unlikely or difficult for another couple of months, it might be some time before you get to enjoy the country’s gay hotspots again… and its lovely inhabitants!
The next best thing may be to console yourself with a new coffee table book that showcases everyday British guys. Most are photographed stripped, either naked or in underwear, and in their home setting.
The book is the creation of the London-based photographer, Adrian Lourie. Ten years ago, Lourie launched his photo-zine, entitled Meat. The occasional publication was simply a collection of portraits of gay and bi men, of all shapes and sizes.
Related: Gay London
Meat eschewed model types and instead opted for the more regular and everyday. It highlighted the beauty in male huskiness, however thin or thick.
“We’re all sexy in our own right and worthy of pin-up status,” says Lourie.
In addition to the Meat zine, Lourie also produced a very popular Meat calendar each year. He also ran pop-up club nights at venues such as the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Then, after ten years, Lourie announced that he was bringing the project to an end.
Lourie, who is also a photographer for the likes of Evening Standard and other mainstream publications, told GayStarNews last September that he’d decided a decade was a good time to call it quits.
“I’ve photographed, self-published and marketed 44 issues of the magazine pretty much single-handedly. The project went from a side-hustle to a much a full-time job and one that I am incredibly thankful for. I got to a point where I thought it was time.”
Lourie said that the Covid pandemic had also interrupted his ability to meet up with men to do shoots.
Thankfully, he’s decided to mark ten years of the project, and shoots with around 600 men, by publishing a coffee table book of the entire Meat project. Following a successful crowd-funding campaign, the book has now gone to print and will be available from June 30.
“It was exciting for me to look back over ten years of work with some distance and fresh eyes,” said Lourie in a press release. “I think the whole project is a little snapshot of our lives as queer men over the decade.”
One of those to model was Dev, who works in PR.
“I’d always loved Meat, the curation and concept of real people always inspired me,” he said about his decision to model. “It was something I’d loved seeing, never thinking I could be part of it. When I saw the call for men of all shapes and sizes, I plucked up the courage. It was a real opportunity to show how comfortable I am with my own body.
“I felt really comfortable posing and found it empowering. I’d always aspired to be in a sexy and fun publication like Meat. The reality was all that and more.”
Another to model was Nick from South London. He featured in the Meat naked calendar and will also be in the book.
“There isn’t enough celebrating of body-positivity in the broadest sense amongst queer men. Our bodies are all different and all sexy. I think what Adrian does, which is so fantastic, is to bring out the incredible beauty and sexiness in the men he photographs.”
More info at meatzine.com