Ten years of MEAT. Ten years of celebrating the male art form. Ten years of presenting different years of male sexuality and masculinity. After ten successful years, the MEAT journey is coming to an end, at least for how we know it today. YASS met Adrian Lourie, the man behind the MEAT project and we present the most nostalgic and MEATy moments to you.
What has been the best moments during these MEATy years?
Having a platform to help change people’s perception of what it means to be a gay man today and to present different images of gay sexuality and masculinity. It was rare to see pictures of ‘regular’ guys in the gay media when i first started. My desire to change that was the catalyst for meat. The landscape is very different now. There are, for instance, many zines now doing what I started.
What did you enjoy most?
Meeting the guys, of course. Hearing their stories, sharing intimate moments with them. Some of them I have never seen again, some became friends, some lovers. Every one of them is part of the fabric of this project. Without the guys putting themselves out there and wanting to express themselves, there wouldn’t be a zine.
How has the interaction of people been?
Generally very, very positive. I get remarkably little trolling or negative attitudes to the work I publish, both in print and online. Guys respond really well to the diversity of men I photograph. They understand the point of view I’m expressing. They get it, and they enjoy it. Thank god!
How has MEAT evolved through these years?
It’s been pretty consistent. I’m a visual person, and that’s my language. I have flirted with written editorial content over the years. Still, the strength of the magazine is in imagery that doesn’t rely on or support text. This makes meat pretty unique, and it’s allowed me to play to my strengths as a portrait photographer. I decided that I didn’t need to compromise on that.
What does MEAT represent to you?
It represents ten years of photographing hundreds of guys in their underwear! I’ll be honest, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the project over the years. Sometimes I’ve felt happier about it than others. Like lots of guys who buy it, I’ve stuck with it, and I have so much affection for it as a body of work now. It’s definitely been a labour of love. I’m currently putting together a book to represent the ten years, and I’m actually really proud of the work looking back. It feels like a snapshot of our community.
How are the current circumstances affecting your work and your business?
Well, all my shoots have stopped obviously. I was gearing up to start shooting the 2021 naked calendar, but that’s been put on hold. Thankfully I did quite a lot of shooting at the end of last year and the beginning of this, so I have an issue together and ready to launch in May. Hopefully, I can get back to shooting over the summer. As I say, I’m working on a book so spending a lot of time going through the meat archive, which is fun and a great distraction from real life.
What are your future projects, and what shall we expect from you?
Well in terms of meat there will be three final issues this year a 2021 calendar and a book and exhibition in the Autumn. So I’m still quite busy with meat this year. The meat parties at Dalston Superstore in East London will continue into the future too. Beyond that, I haven’t really any firm plans. I would like to concentrate on my regular photography career. I’m definitely thinking about other creative projects that possibly don’t include naked men. However, never say never.
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