Photographer Gianfranco Briceño started Brazilian-based publication Snaps Fanzine as a side project to his 10-year work in fashion photography. “As a photographer I've always been searching for a free spirit, without hard posing, looking for what I somewhat could call ‘naturalism’: working side to side with the model, using natural light,” he says. “It was free shooting – free of hard thinking, free of clothing, free of any prejudice about the nude body”.
Introducing the publication to help challenge expectations of male sexuality, Briceño hopes to show it’s not all about a mainstream macho image. Working alongside friends, designer Guilherme Falcão and curator and journalist Eduardo Viveiros, Briceño rarely shoots professional models. Instead opting to cast friends, friends of friends and people who’ve caught his eyes at nightclubs or Instagram. “The idea is to photograph guys that, even if they're not professional models, are young and beautiful boys that I run along in the daily life and catch up my eyes exactly for having a special, non-obvious beauty,” he says.
Representing two dimensions of male identity in Brazil, Snaps Fanzine shines a cultural and visual spotlight on body, Briceño explains, “Brazil is a country with an inherently strong hedonism, not necessarily gay, but because of the weather and the beaches, the carnival and a natural ‘cult’ of the body." The second dimension to Snaps focuses on the country’s gay culture. “There's still a lot of violence and homophobia but we have a strong, and somewhat diffuse, presence of a social rights movement fighting for the gay communities.”
“I shoot young gay men, who, one way or another, are linked with the gay scene in Brazil,” says the photographer. “It's a more open and free generation, or ones who are fighting really hard to the rights of being open and free. They want to get off the ghetto, of being labeled as minority, they want to express themselves. I see Snaps as a piece of that movement, that fight. They are pictures that say ‘hey, I want to be free! Let me be free, with my naked body, without tabus or any kind of shame.”