Based on a written poem, Eric Hart displays his piece “Unravel” in a Love Hart photo series.
Nov 1, 2019
Based on a poem I wrote, The Love Hart photo series, “Unravel,” stems from a desire to shed light on traditional dynamics of masculinity. In some communities, particularly black communities, from a very young age, boys are taught to brush off emotions so as not to appear weak or vulnerable, and present themselves in a way that showcases their strength and power as a man.
As a kid, I remember numerous times being told to “man up” or having my actions compared to what society has deemed feminine characteristics. For many people, myself included, having these ideas instilled in you makes you reduce him down to one part of his identity. Growing up I often felt I had to hide many aspects of my identity and feelings to be a real man.
This photo series and poem are just visual expressions to reflect those ideas. Just wanting to unravel all these symbolic traits that a black man is traditionally taught to have is what ultimately inspired this body of work.
THIS ORGAN NEVER GOT TO BE FRAGILE
NOR DOES THE MAN WITHIN IT
GET TO UNRAVEL
TO A PLACE OF RESERVATIONS
JUST LIKE HIS PRIOR GENERATIONS,
HE HAS HESITATION
DUE TO THE RULES AND REGULATIONS
OF WHAT IT MEANS
WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE THE ESSENCE OF HIS GENES,
SKIN THAT BEAMS
BUT QUICKLY FALLS INTO A ROUTINE
THAT IS SORT OF UNSPOKEN
A ROUTINE THAT IS UNDOUBTEDLY CORROSION
THAT SHUTS DOWN EMOTION
AND LEAVES NO ROOM FOR OPEN
BREAK HIS PATTERN AND WATCH HIS PRIDE GO SILENT
BUT SOMEHOW A FRAGILE SPINE IS DEFIANT
ABSENT HE REMAINS
SO TRUTH HE REFRAMES
BUT HE KNOWS
AND SO DOES HIS SHADOWS
Email Eric Hart at [email protected]