Why do boys pee on things?
Photographer and musician Lida Fox answers this burning question and more through her latest photo book that muses on masculinity.
“At any given time somewhere in the world, there is a boy peeing on something,” says Lida Fox, the South Carolina-born and LA-based former Celine model-turned-musician and photographer, “it’s just a fact of life”.
It’s also the reason why the 24-year-old singer and bass player of Cumgirl8 – an all-girl punk quartet – has so many photos of boys taking a slash. “Some guys will be super macho about it like, ‘I’m gonna go over here and pee’ and pose for a photo, while others are more pee shy. I think that says a lot about performative gender roles,” says Fox of her infatuation with lads urinating.
Boys Pee On Things is a 120-page book that explores male vulnerability (or lack thereof) through the multifaceted prism of gender. A mix of documentary photography and scribbled-out, late-night ponderings, the book juxtaposes “boys being boys” (read: them pissing on things) with more intimate expressions of masculinity. Think: hazy stills of boys in dresses sipping tea and in depth Q&As asking: “What does sensitivity mean to you?”
Compiled with the help of 28 friends-slash-contributors of varying genders and sexual identities, the book muses on how this generation expresses, interacts with and hides from gender. There’s a picture of a sunburnt weight-lifter at the beach courtesy of Little Women actress Sasha Frolova, a photo of two naked girls smoking with their feet by photographer Noelle Duquette and a series of powerful black and white portraits of a young boy shot by model Nick Hadfield. It’s sometimes playful, sometimes angry, but always – at its core – inquisitively joyous.
While the submissions vary in tone and subject, all of the photographs were captured on film in keeping with Fox’s own style: “I’m interested in showing unedited photos because when I was working in fashion all the shoots were so stylised. It was showing an alternate reality – not showing reality. I want to show the opposite [to show] what life’s actually like.”
Fox first started documenting her life – from mundane everyday moments to her escapades as a globe-trotting Saint Laurent model – via her scrapbook-esque website filmhooligans.com back in 2015. She soon shaped her hobby into a business, releasing her debut photography zine, titled Kiss Me, in 2018 that delved into the most obvious form of intimacy: kissing.
Right now, Fox is working on Cumgirl8’s debut EP. Does she want (or even have time) to do another book? “I still go through a roll of film a week,” admits Fox, “whatever thing I try out next, I know I’ll be photographing it.”
Boys pee on things is published by Good Taste Publishing.
Book launch event hosted by RITUAL PROJECTS LOS ANGELES at OPENING CEREMONY during Frieze weekend.