David Armstrong's Most Loved

The Photographer Pays Tribute to His Male Muses in Mad About the Boy

David Armstrong is planning something of a reshuffle at his Brooklyn home. The Massachussetts-born photographer, renowned for his intimate, fragile and nostalgic portraits of young men (which have been exhibited at the Whitney and the Hamburger Kunsthalle), has amassed so many negatives in the 32 years since he moved to New York that he is now spending a lot of his time editing, reviewing and organizing his work. “The house is just so full of stuff now, and something has to be done,” he says. “I was photographing manically in the last three years, and right now I’m retrieving and looking at all the stuff.” His latest show, Mad About the Boy, at New York’s Half Gallery—selections from which we exclusively preview today—reflects Armstrong’s retrospective urge, bringing together images from the 70s to the late 2000s to focus on four of his most photographed muses. On first glance, the shots almost seem contemporaneous—such is the strange, wistful singularity of Armstrong’s vision. But time has had subtle effects on Armstrong’s work: his earliest shots are of friends and lovers, while recent portraits, informed in part by his work in fashion (including editorials for Vogue, Self Service and Arena Homme+) during the 2000s have a more—as he puts it—“sublimated” sensuality. Mad About the Boy, curated by Emma Reeves, opens November 10.

David Armstrong profiles each of his iconic male muses here

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