Artists' Statement

As long time collaborators, we wanted to explore what constitutes authentic, modern masculinity. We worked to create images that reflect the missing identity and sexuality not represented in the media around us. The Bear Community represents what we were searching for: warmth, strength, passion, joy, vulnerability, and most importantly authenticity not represented in Madison Avenue, Hollywood or Iconic Gay imagery.

Our subjects embrace and present their masculinity in unique and individual ways. We thank them for sharing their stories with us. They continue to inspire us in ways they may never truly understand.

We must also take a moment to thank our Associate Producer, the incredible Peter Chronis. The project would not exist without his love, input, and support. We also wish to thank Patrick Ciano and Dean Burchell for all of their suggestions and talents.

Finally, we need to thank our partner and husband, Dan and Andrew. We’re both incredibly lucky to have such supportive and loving men in our lives. They anchor us and allow our dreams to take flight.

Oh, yeah. The legal stuff.

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner or transmited by any means whatsoever, electronic or mechanical (including photocopying, recording, internet posting, or any other information storage and retrieval system) without prior written permission of the creators.

The Bear Sessions

Joel Benjamin and John O’Connell – co-creators