“Bearded Brutes” by Mark Leeming

Artist Mark Leeming is challenging gender stereotypes with his “Bearded Brutes” series. The project started last October, and Leeming said that he was inspired by his own affinity for “things that sparkle and shine” and Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Leeming decided that for “Bearded Brutes,” he’d use his newly sharpened makeup skills on the models. “I wanted to show gay men in an almost ambiguous way. Obviously you see that they are male first and foremost, but with an added streak of playfulness and kitsch quality. Over the past few years I have become more and more integrated into the drag community, more so with the #manchesterqueens and this zest for life and passion they have I really soaked up. What they do every weekend is a pure art form. It’s not just throw on some lashes and a cheap wig — it is cohesive, well-planned projected living artistry. I guess their influences transcended into my working style and this ultimately formed the “Bearded Brutes.” – Love it! see more of his work at www.markleeming.com

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