Often when you see a man in drag, the look involves a wig, six-inch heels, and a feather boa.
But not anymore. Now, Barcelona-based photographer Jon Uriarte is unveiling The Men Under the Influence, a stunning series of portraits of men wearing their girlfriends’ clothes. One man stands in a mini-dress and tights in an office; another poses in a kitchen in a sundress and sandals. A third sits in a bedroom in jean shorts and a cardigan.
The portraits are eerily beautiful and quiet. No one smiles. They’re interesting, in part, because these men aren’t wearing over-the-top costumes but everyday outfits that look entirely unique on the male body. Uriarte explains that to set up each shot, he went to a friend’s house and together they chose an outfit—often with the help of their wives or girlfriends. “The rule was to choose an outfit that she would actually wear,” he tells The Daily Beast. “At the beginning they always chose the craziest clothes, and it became a joke. But it’s not a joke.”
Uriarte, 33, says the inspiration for the project, which he completed in 2009, came from thinking about how gender roles have changed over time—and how different male-female relationships are now than they were during his parents’ generation. “We have to learn to change what we learned from our parents,” he says. “We are the ones who have to change or have to relate to women in different ways. We have to understand new ways of this new balance.” In a description of the project on his website, he adds: “The photos attempt to capture men’s sense of loss reference, now that women have taken a step forward and have finally come into their own as equal partners.”
But Uriarte is quick to explain that he isn’t trying to analyze the meaning of his own photographs. “People ask me about the male point of view,” he says, laughing. “I just know about what I can feel and see.”