Artist Thomas Knights goes Red Hot ginger in mind-shifting London show

By Ben Miller | 12 September 2013

Exhibition preview: RED HOT, The Gallery in Redchurch Street, London, December 16-22 2013

A photo of a male model with ginger hair looking side-on against a bright red backdrop
© Thomas Knights
Photographer and video artist Thomas Knights says he grew up ashamed of his auburn roots. A natural redhead, the protagonist for this year-long project recalls growing up with no role models to match the chiselled, pouting specimens on show in his attempt to redefine preconceptions, an exercise aimed at capitalising on the popularity of the likes of Prince Harry, Damian Lewis and Eddie Redmayne, who Knights describes as “brilliant ambassadors” for red-haired males.

“Essentially, ginger boys desperately needed a re-brand and I felt like I was in a good position to do it,” he told Attitude Magazine.

“Then I read an article in the Sunday Times with the caption: ‘What is our new obsession with hot ginger men?’

“I knew something was changing – hot ginger guys were so taboo they were exciting.

“I knew that the exhibition was going to work and the next week I shot the first few guys and it snowballed from there.”

The idea is light-hearted from Knights, who has worked with the likes of Vogue Italia, Marie Claire and chart-toppers Róisín Murphy and Labrinth. But it’s also backed by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, who want the show to help children and adults to take pride.

“I really want people to have a great time first and foremost, and feel flustered by all the hot men staring at them from the walls,” hopes the artist.

“But I ultimately want them to go away with a sort of mind shift. I want them to consider their own possibly institutionalised, conditioned restrictions on what is a sexy or hot male.

“We have been conditioned to think ginger men are ugly and weak.

"I wanted to flip this on its head and present the redhead as the 'ultimate' alpha male.”

More pictures:

A photo of a male model with ginger hair looking into the camera against a blue backdrop
© Thomas Knights
A photo of a male model with ginger hair
© Thomas Knights
A photo of a male model with ginger hair
© Thomas Knights
A photo of a male model with ginger hair
© Thomas Knights
What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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Latest comment: >Make a comment
Great! As a redhead myself - and now a dad to red-haired twin baby boys ...I wish I had something like this to inspire me while I was growing up ...keep up the good work :)
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