- The much-loved project is coming to an end. We find out why.
The meat calendars and magazines are coming to an end! meat started ten years ago as an art zine project from the super-talented, London-based photographer, Adrian Lourie.
It quickly established itself a cult following and has led to pop-up club nights and its popular, annual, nude calendar. We’ve here cropped images of seven of the models in order to share them with you, but the actual calendar features full-on nudity.
Published quarterly, the meat zine is Lourie’s tool to demonstrate the sexy appeal of what he sees as every day, ‘ordinary’ men. The models, with some exceptions, don’t typically sport six-packs and bulging pectorals. In recent years, the range has diversified further, including trans men and non-binary individuals.
Lourie says his portraits, ‘attempt defy the shaming that goes on, particularly in the gay community. Photographing the subjects naked is a great way to celebrate “ordinary” queers.’
Now, after 44 issues of meat, Lourie has decided to bring the project to an end. The 2021 calendar will be the last.
‘I decided in January that this year, the tenth year of meat would be a good time to end the project,’ Lourie told GSN when asked why it was ending.
‘I’ve photographed, self-published and marketed 44 issues of the magazine pretty much single-handedly. The project went from a side-hustle to a much a full-time job and one that I am incredibly thankful for. I got to a point where I thought it was time.’
That said, he says that he’s received so much love and support over recent months, he’s found a renewed energy for the project, so ‘a complete full stop might have been a bit of a hasty decision,’ he laughs.
Shooting in the time of COVID
Lourie normally shoots across the year, but because of COVID-19 restrictions in London, could only start shooting in earnest in July for this year’s calendar.
‘Putting together the calendar and naked issue this year, in a very short space of time has just been the most incredible experience. It’s the most diverse calendar I’ve ever put out and ‘the twelve’ as I’ve affectionately named them, have been the most fantastic bunch of queers to work with. I’m so proud of what we’ve made.’
Nick (above), who graces the calendar as for the month of May, has long been a fan of meat: ‘I love being part of the meat movement. The zine and calendar are playful and provocative, but most of all, meat is a body-positive celebration of the diversity and beauty of our community.’
Another model, Kings, was proud to feature on the cover of this year’s calendar.
‘I truly appreciated being asked to show my cheeks in meat! As a POC representation and visibility are so important. I don’t often see guys like me celebrated in this way. I hope this calendar helps to change the narrative.’
Has Lourie made lots of friends through photographing so many men?
‘It’s a funny thing,’ he says. ‘Some guys pose, and you never hear from them again. Some have become the most brilliant friends. I have the greatest affection for anyone who has been prepared to put themselves out there for the magazine. And I just have so many great memories of all the shoots.
‘The reaction to me ending the project this year has been lovely. I honestly didn’t realize there was so much affection for what I’ve produced over the years and the impact it’s had on so many queer lives.’
meat: The book
Although it may be the last calendar, it’s not quite the end of meat.
‘I’m working on a book which will be a ten-year pictorial retrospective of meat,’ says Lourie. ‘It’s a massive amount of work, but I hope to self-publish it in the spring. Don’t be surprised if another issue of meat pops up in the meantime though.’
More info on meat at meatzine.