I'd had the idea of a male dancer in pointe shoes ever since I'd learned that dancing en pointe originated with men and that the ballet world underwent some serious upheaval when women first donned those wooden-toed shoes. Finding the right guy for the shoot took a lot of looking and a lot of waiting. When I first met Wesley I knew I'd found my guy. But would he be willing to do something so completely out there?
Wesley's androgyny is something he owns and is at peace with and it blends seamlessly with his unabashed love of women. His answer to my request to work with him was an enthusiastic yes! Nude? Pointe shoes? Possibly a pink tutu? No problem. Wesley took the project on and made it his and I got the image that had been dancing in my mind's eye for ages.
I grew up with Degas' paintings of dancers all around me, so this image is in part an homage to him as well as an homage to those men who used to and still do go up en pointe. And perhaps too, an homage to my persistence and patience in finding the right person for the picture.