From Merene Gustin’s article for OutSmart Magazine:
“When I was looking for something to comment on through a series of photos, I thought of male strippers,” Rattia recalls. “I actually had a friend who ran a strip club for gay men, and he kindly introduced me to some of the dancers. I was thinking they would be more background, but before I shot the first dancer, we had lunch and I got to know him.”
Rattia says the dancers were very different than the stereotype.
“Most of them are straight, though they clearly like the attention of other men,” he says. “And they have very diverse lives. Some are MBA candidates, pilots, businessmen, and even doctors.”
Showing the strippers as real people going through the backstage routines of getting ready to perform by pumping and primping and shaving, the dancers became the focus of the portraits. For two years, he traveled across the country shooting male strippers from Miami to New York City, creating a body of work that is both intimate and evocative. The project resulted in his first solo exhibit in New York City at ClampArt in 2016.