Male Fragility. Interview to Michael Söndergaad

I’ve been looking for young models who I feel are able to visually communicate that.

Michael Søndergaard is the artist that looks for male beauty in a different and mystical way. After his studies at the Univeversity of Copenhagen, where he studied Science Religion, he became interested in religious rituals. Søndergaard’s work focuses on portraiture, often working with the culture and identity of youth.

In his recent works, RITE he explores the fragility of masculinity through portraits where every model is put into a ritualised and sacred context to make them sincere. Every one of the photographs communicates a sense of melancholy connected to his own personal search for identity. This interview was made by the cultural director of Pois, Francisco Lacerda, in partnership with the curator Ghislain Pascal, from The Little Black Gallery.

Michael © Michael Søndergaard

On this interview, Francisco Lacerda invited the artist Michael Søndergaard to talk abut his recent participation on Boys! Boys! Boys!, an edition where many gay photographers and artists, captured the beauty and complexity of the male form. This edition was made with well-know artists like: Will McBride, Matt Lambert, Andy Warhol, Lulu Delafalaise, Alexandre Haefeli. With a book benefiting the  Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Mathias with Collar © Michael Søndergaard

Under Veil © Michael Søndergaard

FL – Do you consider you find yourself in some kind of photography experimental?
MS – Everything I create happens in a process where I try to let go of all control. No photographs are ever planned beforehand, but made in an experimental environment with an mind open. 


Miki © Michael Søndergaard

FL – What type of models do you look for?

MS – As my debut series RITE is about vulnerable masculinity and finding identity. I’ve been looking for young models who I feel are able to visually communicate that.

Simon © Michael Søndergaard

FL – What is the most important issue when shooting to a model boy?

MS – Making a portrait, to me, is a collaboration between the photographer and model. It’s very important for me to create a safe space, where the model feels comfortable with playing around in front of the camera.

Mathias D © Michael Søndergaard

Mathias © Michael Søndergaard

RITE is about vulnerable masculinity and finding identity

Michael Søndergaard

FL – Does religion changed the way you think about art? Does your art change religion?

MS – I’m very interested in religious rituals because in every ritual there is a change from one stage to another. In the actual transition phase there is a built-in vulnerability that I also look for in my photographs.

Peter turning around © Michael Søndergaard
Simon © Michael Søndergaard

FL -What is the most beautiful men part body?

MS – In my series RITE I’ve worked a lot with exposing the models’ chests, because I think it’s a lovely way to communicate honesty and fragility.

Victor © Michael Søndergaard

Michael Søndergaard is represented by The Little Black Gallery London. Visit thelittleblackgallery.com for all print sales.

By Francisco Lacerda: Francisco Lacerda is an artist, cultural critic and creative director of Pois. He writes for Pois since 2018. He also writes for other social media websites and he is a international art curator. Francisco studied in Lisbon and London, where he learned about art, management and luxury. Francisco Lacerda is responsible for major interviews: Duane MichalsEdouard TaufenbachAnthony ListerManuel Braun.

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Francisco Lacerda

Francisco Lacerda

Francisco Lacerda is an artist, cultural critic and creative director of Pois. He writes for Pois since 2018. He also writes for other social media websites and he is a international art curator. Francisco studied in Lisbon and London, where he learned about art, management and luxury. Francisco Lacerda is responsible for major interviews: Duane Michals, Edouard Taufenbach, Anthony Lister, Manuel Braun.

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