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These Shots Of Ancient Greek Statues Zoom In On An Overlooked Subject (NSFW?)

Some people might go online to look at perfect bodies, but photographer Ingrid Berthon-Moine goes to the museum instead. In a series of photos called Marbles, she focused on a unique type of portrait: Crotch shots of ancient Greek statues.

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For Berthon-Moine, the project is a way to look at men “the way they look at women.” She makes it clear that the project isn’t about objectification. “I conceptualize rather than objectify,” she says. “I intended to explore the elements of men . . . that have been overlooked.”


This is definitely one part of the male anatomy that doesn’t usually get a lot of attention. You have to wonder what fellow museum-goers thought as the photographer took the extreme close-ups at sites throughout Europe.

Berthon-Moine didn’t really consider using live male nudes. “Greek sculptors . . . were concerned with the idealized perfection of the human body,” she says. “Their influence is still present today, look at advertising campaigns for male underwear or perfumes.”


The standards for male perfection were a little different back then. “Today . . . size matters and the bigger, the better,” Berthon-Moine says. “Meanwhile in Ancient Greece the genitals were small and taut to show self-control in terms of sexuality.”

Perhaps, she says, the series will give men the experience of “feeling the powerful and unapologetic pressure of the commercial gaze on their bodies.” Or perhaps it will just make some people laugh. The photographer says she isn’t too concerned with the reaction.

“Some love it, some hate it,” she says. “It doesn’t really matter to me, I had fun with my marbles.”

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