Tarty Armani’s Latest Sporno Spunk

Paolo Rumi in Milano sends this snap of Armani’s latest sporno star, tennis player Rafael Nadal, kindly offering his giant but pertly athletic arse to passers by in Armani’s home town.

In the early Naughties I described the exhibitionism of metrosexuality as ‘literally asking to be fucked’. I’m sure people thought I was being absurd and vulgar again. I was, of course.  But I was also on the money (shot).

The Daily Mail tastefully describes this saucy image of the world’s No.1 tennis player half-naked, bent over and looking imploringly at the camera over his shoulder as ‘confident’. Which is reassuringly masculine sounding enough for their readers I suppose. While perhaps implying ‘spunky’.

But let’s not pretend that this image is summed up by any other word other than ‘coquettish‘. Coquettish with knobs on. And in. It could be an image straight out of a Dieux du Stade calendar (minus the jeans).

It isn’t just the fact that a half-naked Rafael is apparently offering himself on a prop from a porno movie set (Builders’ Big Erections). It’s the smoothly inviting, defenceless musculature of his prone shoulders and lats. And the small of his back before the tempting swelling bubble of his butt filling out the product so alluringly. Along with that ‘come on big boy’ expression on his flirty face – which added all together shouts out: WANT ME!

As with much of sporno, the dynamic of the image is the deliberate provocation of an athlete who lives by ‘masculine’ ‘activity’ flaunting his flagrant ‘feminine’ ‘passivity’ to the world. And in case anyone refuses to get the message, Armani are, in this campaign, simultaneously running an image of a slightly boyish looking tattooed Megan Fox in the same pose. Lovely as it is, it doesn’t have quite the same charge as the Nadal snap, and in fact seems to have been designed to merely draw more attention to the tartiness of Nadal’s pose.

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Male tartiness, once considered perverse and unnatural is a very big very global business these days. Or as Paolo put it in his email to me with the pic attached of Rafael spread all over the wall in Milano: ‘the homosexualization of heterosexuality is complete’.

 

14 thoughts on “Tarty Armani’s Latest Sporno Spunk

  1. well, considering that homosexuality used to have 90 degrees of separation from the average guy (victims we know so well)… now is 180… next is 360° it’s a round prophecy: the end / new beginning of the world.

  2. Thanks, Graham, it just seemed so right and natural for me to be there.

    (It’s not quite the final version though – it’s a test cover.)

  3. Mark S: I like the final version of the metrosexy cover. Is your name placed in that position on purpose 🙂

  4. I agree that Mediterraneans have eons of history, science, philosophy, and art to prove that they rule when it comes to showing their asses . . . and other fascinating body parts, including their brains. God (and Gods) bless ’em!

  5. Despite his first name, Mr Federer doesn’t make me want him. But perhaps that’s a good thing. For Mr Federer.

  6. Nadao is vastly overrated. He can only defeat Federer on clay courts and gets destroyed on grass and cement courts. Roger Federer is above and beyond the greatest tennis player ever with the greatest number of grand slam wins at the youngest age, but (un)fortunately, he doesen’t care about self-promotion. He is a god, and gods don’t care about being acknowledged by mere mortals. There is an almost sepulcral silence every time Federer enters a room.

  7. Paolo: I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been to the Stadio dei Marmi, but I’ve always wanted to go – partly because I did wonder whether it might be the homo of sporno. And yes, that ‘ambiguous macho/hero request for attention’, the ‘yes/no’ is something that has persisted in the Mediterranean much longer than sporno or metrosexuality. It will probably outlast them too. Though what seems to be happening is the ‘yes/no’ is transforming into ‘YES!/no’…

    It’s interesting to see Armani’s current sporno as a response to D&G. D&G I thought were responding to DDS – they have used some of the same photographers. But perhaps they saw in DDS a way to reinvent what Armani had been doing all along, albeit in a more ‘statuesque’ way.

  8. so honoured. maybe Mark did not perceive Rafael’s offer as an historical landmark because he is a native northerner…
    while I’m mediterranean, quite used to this heroic ambiguos macho/hero request for attention. and how the subtle reading of it implies a yes/no, an a7p attitude… all too mediterranean.

    Hand in Glove is a reference, but the fascist Stadio dei Marmi in Rome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadio_dei_Marmi a THE real sporno theme park.
    Armani started from there, and from Franco Maria Ricci’s re-reading of it. he never actually moved any further. but history repeats (or the web helps the implosion) and it seemed to me that in 2001, after Beckham bollocks, Nadal as offered by Armani, couldn’t be “casual”.

    as he (and his crew) are battling against Dolce+Gabbana latest sporno series), Armani is saying “hey, I did the first”, and it shows.

  9. The Greek statues are beautiful and have always been admired. I was referring to a more media type of art, when the male form wasn’t encouraged to be naked or lusted after. Mark was speaking about the 90s’ so I thought about Album sleeves, posters, magazines and which ones were gazed upon with the same acceptance as the greek statues. The female has been crudely portrayed as empty and available (Rolling Stone LP cover string to my mind, Newspapers page 3, etc) Is this billboard is art? I don’t think so but some album sleeves are.

  10. I’ve never been one to ignore a pretty ass shoved in my face. But I seem to have somehow missed Rafael’s until Paolo pointed it out.

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