Photographer Joe Mozdzen provides a significant amount of sexual tension in his aptly named collection, "Anticipation." He captures the suspense of seeing beach-bodied boys-next-door, hot-bodied hipsters, and modern model types in various stages of undress. There’s a gentle agony as you hope to see them further disrobed while still reveling in their physical beauty. It’s not what you’d expect from erotica but still feels sensual. He definitely outdoes himself in this collection.
The book feels very modern. The naked surfer type photo spread has been done before. This book pulls together different types of guys. They are all white, early twenties types, but they embody different styles like hipster, beach boy, and high fashion. They are often in provocative poses or with a bit of a reveal of their lower area, or buttocks. There’s a few full nudes, but that’s not what the book seems to be about. It’s more about capturing that moment you want to rip off your lover’s clothes. Except, in this case it’s a sexy model.
There’s an introduction by notable photographer Greg Gorman. Some of the photographs are vaguely reminiscent of Gorman’s portraiture style. It blurs that line of overtly sexual erotica and insightful photography. Mozdzen does capture a distinct playful and sexual energy in each of the photographs.
It’s a little disappointing that the book focuses mostly on young white men in their late teens/early twenties. It seems to fit into a specific niche of attraction and tends to promote that. It feels a bit like a sexy yearbook of former Disney Channel stars since the boys may have a different look but embody a similar boyish-type.
Despite the homogeneity of his models, Mozdzen does capture a distinct feeling with his art. Our society is so often saturated with overtly sexual images. The lines between gay men’s magazines and art and porn are miniscule. And yet, he is able to convey an actual physical response, no pun intended, by capitalizing on your want for more and not giving it to you. This psychological withholding gives power to the imagery.
"Anticipation" is more than just a chicken hawk’s wet dream. It’s a transcendent take on sexual tension. It’s like meta-porn because you’re fueled by anticipation for nudity that is a bit of a fresh feeling when half-nude, and often full-nude men are all over ads, magazines, and shows targeting the gay community. It’s definitely worth checking out, but may only target to one distinct "type."
By Joe Mozdzen