In "Wrestlers" I am reminded as I am painfully defeated by a massive oilwrestler of how I many years ago was wrestling with my brothers. I made these photographs of oil wrestlers during practice sessions and tournaments in villages throughout Turkey during the summer of 2011. I gained entrance into the world of Turkish oil wrestling via respected referee Osman Cazgir, who introduced me to several wrestlers and offered me to live and travel with him and his wrestling friends to practices and tournaments. Without this introduction, it would have been difficult for me to gain the trust of this highly traditional community – a community that in recent years has been impacted by gay voyeurism and foreign tourism. While participating in oil wrestling training sessions, I quickly came to realize just how seriously its practitioners take the sport. You have to get your opponent off balance and totally dominate him, and the best way to do this is to get a handle on his leather pants. The matches are won on points, or if the opponent is lying on his back. In Turkey there are a few hundred wrestlers that are living well on the sport as professionals, with paid sponsors. It is the dream of many young Turkish men to one day become acclaimed professional oil wrestelers.

All the Works

JohanProject type

The Sauna OdysseyProject type

Re-AnimatorProject type

Koteka ImpressionsProject type

Cardboard MountainProject type

Lions Among UsProject type

CocksProject type

FlowersProject type

Sauna SessionsProject type

Pay and SprayProject type

Exhibitions 2024Project type

Koteka InterviewsProject type

Cardboard InterviewsProject type