Men Born From Blossoms

by Maggie Steber

I grew up without a father or any male influence so men have always been somewhat of a mystery to me in various ways. I’ve had plenty of relationships including a 30-year relationship and lots of male friends but I still find them mysterious in ways that I hope they find women mysterious. I want to present men in ways that are unexpected and something they themselves do not expect or think about so I began photographing men with flowers. The flowers do not speak to or about any gender issues or choices. The men I photograph are straight or gay or older or younger. I choose the men according to how they move me or because I think there is something special about them and because I think they are beautiful people. I want to show a gentler side of men that I feel is not always represented in this moment of the #metoo movement. I try to select a flower that seems to be like them or reminds me of some quality that stands out about them.

—From Steber’s Guggenheim Foundation-supported work, “The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma”

Marino with Lillies, Oaxaca, Mexico

Edouard with Roses, Miami, Florida

Leonard floating with Chrysanthemums, Penang, Malaysia

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