Photography by
Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Inside Paul Sepuya's Dark Room

Q: What are we looking at?
A: “These are images that couldn’t find a home, that get set aside not by my own choice. Self-censorship in anticipation of censorship. These guys are friends and sort-of-buddies. I think friends are the best lovers. In these sessions, it was pretty clear that horniness was the foundation for the photos. It was fun – like when you sext with a buddy, teasing ideas and fantasies. Then you get together and do it. Like porn, the process wavers between a loss-of-control in the moment and the stop-start of checking the camera, composition and framing. You’ll find a range of stuff – a crop of my buddy’s beautiful curved cock, or my friend riding me and showing off his ass. At a recent show, I had difficulty with my gallerist insisting that a hard-on couldn’t be in the initial gallery sightlines – it’s threatening. Collectors often comb through images to make sure there’s no nudity. It definitely feels vulnerable to put my own sexuality into my photography. But I’ve gotten over that. Sort of.”

Originally published in BUTT 34