of the 105 images in Boy Story.


“They had invented a world in their own image, with their own gods and their own ceremonies. It wasn’t just about sexuality, though of course this was a large part. It was about being. The application of makeup each night was one in which a mask was taken off, not put on. I wanted to document this process of liberation.”

Magnus Arrevad’s Boy Story project is a journey through the international, subterranean world of male performers, burlesque, go-go dancers, cabaret singers and porn stars. As we travel through dimly lit dressing rooms, bars and bedrooms in New York, Berlin, Paris, London, Copenhagen (as well as County Sligo in Ireland and a trailer park in Tacoma) we are introduced to Go-go Harder, EvilHateMonkey, The Luminous Pariah, BigChief Random Chaos, Dusty Limits, Blanche DuBois and many others (“the real Hedwigs” as the New York Times referred to Arrevad’s subjects).

Unlike the myriad of ‘burlesque performance’ photographic works, Arrevad chose instead to focus on the performers off-stage, often in their most vulnerable moments, often applying make-up or getting into costume. Coupled with his singular ability to remain both inside and outside a scene, this allows him to display the poignancy and vulnerability of his subjects alongside their sexual charge. The images of these often very private moments push the viewer into the position of voyeur.

“The performances are debauched, magical and often hilarious, but underpinning it all is a grave sense of purpose; to bring the dream of oneself into being. What the subjects of Boy Story have allowed me to do is to watch them constructing their inner selves.”




Available from

Dashwood Books, New York City

The Photographers’ Gallery, London

Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen

and Einer Shop, online

29 x 29 cm, hardcover,  214 pages

105 duotone photographs

Edition of 1000

ISBN 978-1-943278-43-5


Hand-printed in London on archival fiber paper.

Signed and numbered on reverse.

Each image is available in two sizes.



24″ x 19.5″ (61 cm x 50 cm)

Edition of 12



38″ x 31″ (97 cm x 79 cm)

Edition of 7


Prices on request.

“I wanted to make a series of images that shared the composition aesthetics of the Old Masters, but took the subterranean world I know and love as its subject.”


5 page spread in The New York Times

The Sunday Magazine used Boy Story to illustrate a feature on The Real Hedwigs.

Read more


Review in Juliet Art Magazine

When next I'm asked about my work, I shall point to this essay and answer: "What he said."

Read more




Interview in Vice Magazine

Capturing the World of Male Burlesque Means Learning to Walk in Thigh High Boots.

Read more


Gays in the Grauniad? What ever next?!

By day they’re brothers, lovers, sons. By night they’re porn stars, ‘boylesque’ stars and go-go dancers.

Read more


Review in London Photography Diary

Exhibition review by Daniel Pateman.

Read more


★★★★★ review in Jyllands-Posten

Last time this paper got so excited about images, there were protests outside embassies...

Read more



Feature in Politiken

Danish daily Politiken featuring Boy Story in the Art & Culture session.

Read more


L'Oeil de la Photographie

They had invented a world in their own image, with their own gods and their own ceremonies.

Read more

Article about Boy Story in Huff Post

Huffington Post discussed Otto Dix, identity and my brief life as a stripper.

Read more

Interview in BuzzFeed

An obscure American website were kind enough to let me talk about Boy Story.

Read more

Interview in LIFO

Allegedly I said THIS about Boy Story to Lifo. But it’s all Greek to me.

Read more

Interview in STATEf22

An interview by the always wonderful Isabel de Vasconcellos.

Read more


“As they applied each layer of makeup, I saw their true self being revealed, not obscured.”


Magnus Arrevad’s photography is urban poetry, bringing out truths far more important than mere facts.

Arrevad’s great success is to make work that appears eternal rather than clever or gimmicky: his work is affecting because it is not affected. One becomes, in succession, first awestruck, then immersed in his world. He captures not just the physicality of his subjects, but the highly personal energy that burns inside them. It’s a combination of his dedication – truly studying his world, rather than taking a few snaps – and his unrivalled ability to show the frail, human essence of his subjects. His style does not draw attention to itself – this is as it should be. Yet it is instantly recognizable. He has exhibited isolated works at exhibitions in New York, London, Brussels and Maastricht, but his serious work over the last half-decade has been Boy Story (2009 – 2014), his first major photographic series, a comprehensive worldwide study of the world of male performance.

Born in Copenhagen, he now divides his time between London and Berlin. He is currently at work on a second long photographic series and his first major theatrical work.


For enquiries about exhibition, purchases or publication, please fill out the form below.