The source of the photographs in A Spiritual Good Time is from various surfing and gay porn magazines published before 1990. The artist’s attraction to the original images isn’t to them as a whole, but to the small and nuanced details that weren’t the intended focal points. Surf editorial photography created for print magazines tends to have repetitive editorial tropes, and focuses on the larger landscape of the perfect wave with the surfer hero riding in the center. When cut out and re-contextualized, they reveal a whole new sentiment and subvert the narrative from the original context.These appropriated images from mass-printed surf culture are a meditation on the perpetual pursuit of pleasure. It is a blending of fear, desire and intimacy within a sport that often focuses on the heterosexual male-on-female gaze, hyper-masculinity, homophobia, localism and the gossamer tipped dream of all inclusiveness and spirituality.
All images © Stephen Milner