If there’s anything that distinguishes men from the Victorian era, it’s their mustaches. For Aaron Smith, a mustachioed gentlemen himself, these men represent a masculine ideal. Their serious expressions, stiff poses, and spectacularly bearded faces does a great deal to mask an inner vulnerability. The extremely colorful palette which he uses to portray these gentlemen were drawn from Bird-of-Paradise and the extravagantly decorated Huli Wigmen of Papua New Guinea. Aaron wanted to draw parallels between the rituals of initiation practiced in tribal cultures and those found in western culture.
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