Safer at Home: Exploring the ONE Archives Collection

Week 16 (August 10, 2020)

This post, the penultimate in the collection before USC resumes classes, features Eric Evans posing nude in a garden. Taken by his partner, Jerome Strum, this is one of a series of photographs where the couple poses nude in nature. In this particular image, Evans stands sideways and turns his head and chest toward the camera. His left hand is buried inside the jasmine bush, and his head is almost surrounded by the small white flowers and dark green leaves. A tattoo is visible on his right buttock, and he wears a watch on his right wrist and ring on his right hand. He also has two nipple rings and wears two necklaces in this photograph. Though it is hard to see his expression, it seems equal parts love for his partner taking the photograph and enjoyment of the activity. 
The back of the photograph is labeled, “Eric Evans taken by Jerome Strum in Mark Goff backyard our last visit to Indy before Mark Goff passed away.” Strum and Evans first met in San Francisco in the early 1980s and moved together to New York City, Indianapolis, and Pipe Creek, Texas. Though the description of the photograph sounds like it might have been a rather sad event—visiting a friend before he passed away—it is clear that the men that day had fun doing a nude photoshoot in the garden. While this photograph might seem to have nothing to do with the idea of “safer at home,” to me, it underscores the importance of finding or creating joy wherever you are, in small moments, among lovers and close friends. 

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