In the boundless landscape of the American west, enclosed between sweeping views of the sky, two men make love.
In McKnight’s work, the infinity of the sky acts as a counterpoint to the finiteness of bodies immersed in nature. They are large, non-white, hair-covered bodies: McKnight rejects the standards of beauty that dominate both the straight and queer worlds, as well as the desexualization of non-heterosexual bodies.
The sense of landscape, typically associated with the female body, subverts the implicit notion that only women’s wombs, just like the environment, can be conquered and possessed.
In depicted fetishistic sex in the open air, these photographs challenge an idealizing and exemplary image of the same-sex relationship as consonant with conventional ideals of heater domesticity, as well as easy notions of virtue and love.
By including the American landscape in his work, McKnight extends his photography far beyond the mere sexual act. Almost like a Prometheus – founder of civilization – the author gives us images that resist quick readings, challenging all our preconceptions and pietism, asking us to go a little further, in order to learn something new that would make us more human.