Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I would imagine that one of the most difficult tasks a photographer must have (besides coming up with an original concept) must be to narrow down what images they will include in a project. I know I struggled today to narrow down what shots supplied to me by the talented and generous Dan Skinner to include with this post.
Many of you may have seen the recent shoot Dan did with model Dave Wilkinson, 'End Of Summer' for Blake Magazine. They have been featured on many sites and blogs. In seeing that post, not only was I stuck by the raw beauty of model Dave Wilkinson, I was also reminded of the passionate eye of artist Dan Skinner whom I have featured on the blog in the past.
In struggling to narrow down which of Dan's shots of Dave to include in this post, the only think I could do was to narrow the shots to a theme I will call 'Alone In A Hotel'. The shots were actually taken in a hotel room during a trip Dan and Dave took for business.
There is something about being alone in a hotel that brings up a multitude of emotions. From my experience there are things you may do when away, when alone in a hotel you might not do otherwise. Things you might watch, things you might try, people you might interact with. Consequences seem off in the distance when away and inhibitions are lowered. There of course is something sexual about hotels but equally something excruciatingly lonely about being in a hotel alone. This is especially true knowing there are so many people, couples and families just a wall away.
Art is about not only about intent but as important, interpretation. It is through the description above that I viewed Dan's inspiration for photographing Dave in the hotel. Alone, uninhibited, sensual and creative. There is a special connection between Dan and his subject which allow both to reach a creative place full of not only beauty but emotion.
The Model: Dave Wilkinson
'I grew up in a little country town. I was always involved in sports through out grade school and high school. After graduating high school I have totally dedicated my life to sculpting my body to be 100% perfect, by weightlifting 6 out of 7 days a week.'
Dave Wilkinson may be from a little country town, and still young, but he is no fool. Dave is a guy who knows what has to be done to make it in the modeling industry. Dave is professional, creative and likes to be stimulated not just by standing in front of a camera, but by taking part in creative, fun shoots the push boundaries and say something beyond 'look at me'.
Dave is still building his portfolio and is looking to add more fashion shots to his already impressive resume. It is only a matter of time before Dave is signed with an agency. He is going to be big. An amazing body, great face, that head of blond hair are just the beginning. His attitude and desire to create great art is what is going to move him past the others to success. If you want to work with Dave, make sure your serious, because he certainly is. Dave doesn't play games, he just puts everything into his work.
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 168 lbs
Shoe size: 12
Hair color: Blonde
Hair length: Medium
Eye color: Green
Skin color: Tanned
The Photographer: Dan Skinner
CERBERUS: 'In Greek mythology, the three-headed watchdog who guards the entrance to the lower world, Hades.'
Missouri's Dan Skinner is not just a photographer. His day job is not just taking pictures, but though his company, CERBERUS INC, taking those pictures and creating cover art for over 400 publishers worldwide ranging from romance to mystery to sci-fi and fashion. Combining his eye for beauty with his digital skills he creates images beyond what you might find in a regular portfolio. Today I am focusing on Dan's work with Dave, but I will be showcasing Dan's other work in the future.
Dan did not start out doing cover art. Dan says that he started out as a fitness photographer and drifted into this venue quite by accident. 'Many of the fitness models I was shooting wanted to do romance covers so I did a few mock ups for them to send off and, lo and behold, the companies hired me' Besides mythology, Dan's inspirations include Stanley Kubrick because of his his technique of scene framing and illumination and cinema from the forties because of their lighting techniques and angles.
'My favorite medium is actually what I call storyboarding. or telling a story in a single frame...or starting a story in your head and letting you finish it. We all have basically the same fantasies so all I have to do is frame the inkling of the idea and your own imagination takes over.'
This certainly fits many of the images showcased here. Unlike a model simply standing in front of a background, each one tells a complete story. That story, started by Dan and Dave actually finishes where the viewer chooses to take it.
'I kinda work like a director in a film in that I will do five million things to frame, light and stage a scene before I bring the "actor" models in.I am known for taking a thousand shots to get "the one".'
Dan loves to photograph beautiful models. That in itself though, is not enough for him. To truly create an image Dan is proud of, he puts his models in a visual fantasy that is enhanced with saturated storybook hues and point of view angles. The end result, as you can see from the images featured here, is pure magic.
Dan and Dave have worked together many times and their creative collaborations are pure gold. When I asked Dan if Dave was his 'muse', his reply was 'Dave is a muse because he is so unrepressed in tackling any of my ideas. Whenever I have an idea he is right there to try it.' More than just a muse, Dan and Dave have a friendship. One of the most important aspects of any friendship is trust, and that is evident in each of the shots featured here.
Be Sure to Check out more of Dan's work:
At his Model Mayhem profile HERE:
His site at Deviant Art HERE:
Great Interview at Covermen HERE:
I wrote the other day about my excitement about the Emmy Awards which aired Sunday night. Well, that was two days ago and I have to admit I switched the channel after about 30 minutes and have yet to finish watching the recording of the rest of the show. I will, it is just not calling my name at the moment.
First let me say I love Neil Patrick Harris and really enjoyed his opening number. Neil also rocked that white tux jacket, so hot! He was the perfect host. I guess I am just out of touch with what the Emmy voters are looking for. I have yet to really see the appeal of the Thursday night comedies on NBC which win so many awards. I know one day I will be posting about my love for 'The Office' and '30 Rock' after buying the DVD's, but right now they just don't do it for me. Even though I like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, I am not a regular viewer. If you watch the Emmy's you would think they are all that is on tv.
I say this every year, but I am always shocked when Ryan Seacrest loses for tv host. Jeff Probst is fine, but his 'taped' hosting gig with all it's editing cannot compare to Seacrest live on stage 2 nights a week moving 'American Idol' along.
I do congratulate the winners, I just was not jumping up and down.
Another reason the Emmy's bother me is that it is hard to see great performances ignored. You all know I love 'Grey's Anatomy' and I know many of you do not. I understand why some would be turned off, but this show to me is so well written (except for Izzy and George), so well acted and packs an emotional punch week after week to me.
This season saw some outstanding performances. I have already posted about how I felt Justin Chambers deserved a nod this year, but today I want to focus on the guest stars of Grey's. Besides the great turn by Eric Stoltz, my favorite guest star this year was actor Ben Shenkman.
Many of you remember Ben from his turn in 'Angels In America'. Ben had the good fortune to be standing in front of Patrick Wilson when he stripped on the beach. Ben is a great actor and his turn as the husband who loses his wife on Grey's was an acting masterpiece. The 'I want my wife' scene still haunts me and I was equally effected re watching the episode on DVD last week.
Guest acting on TV Shows usually has the EMMY voters going for big names. This years winner Michael J. Fox was no exception. I did not see Fox on 'Rescue Me' and I am sure he was great, but I want to give kudos to Shenkman for an award winning performance!
Below: On Grey's with Patrick Dempsey and Jennifer Westfeldt.
Below: Ben with Patrick Wilson in 'Angels In America'
If you have not watched Grey's Before, I encourage you to begin. If you need a reason, download or watch Ben's episode on DVD. It is titled 'An Honest Mistake' and also features Faye Dunaway as her wonderful self as a surgeon, who should have retired years ago, struggling to walk away.
I have always been a fan of actor Jon Foster. Jon has been a part of so many of my favorite movies and tv shows. From 'Life As A House', 'Life As We Know It', 'Murder in Greenwich', 'The Door In The Floor' to name just a few. I really respect his choices when it comes to roles and projects.
Jon is also not afraid to take risks, rarely playing the hero, but character parts that don't always lead to him getting the attention many of his co-stars get. Jon is still feeling his way in Hollywood, and although he has been in some big productions he has also had some disappointments.
I was curious as to why Jon would now enter the world of the tv sitcom. Last nights premier of 'Accidentally on Purpose' on CBS with Jenna Elfman brought Jon back to tv. The last time we saw Jon in a tv show was the short lived, but interesting 'Windfall'. I tuned in last night only to see Jon and was pleased with how much I enjoyed the pilot. Now firstly I must say I had to get beyond my feelings towards Jenna Elfman. Many see her as a sitcom queen, but she is an actress I can only take in small doses. She is good, but seems to work overtime to be loved (she is the sitcom version of Kathie Lee Gifford to me).
Below: Jon with Jenna Elfman in'Accidentally on Purpose'
Jenna did not bother me nearly as much as she has in the past and Jon was likable as the young stud who beds her in the first few moments of the show. Nice to see Ashley Jensen (although I think she should have stuck to Ugly Betty. Add in Grant Show, looking as hot as ever, and some hilarious lines by the actors playing Jon's friends, and you had an enjoyable half hour. Now I am not sure this show, as appealing as it was, can last an entire season. It's premise is one that can only sustain it for a short while. The two leads must at some point either become partners or remain just friends. Add to that with a child on the way, family sitcom territory is looming(oh how I hate family sitcoms). But...if you are a Jon Foster fan, as I am, I encourage you to give it a shot.
Jon in 'Door In The Floor' (2004).
Jon in 'The Informers' (2009).
Jon with Peter Sarsgaard in 'The Mysteries of Pittsburgh' (2008).
I was really looking forward to this flick given the subject matter. Most reviewers trashed it and the performances. Now I am looking forward to buying the book, written by Michael Chabon whom most say is far superior to the flick.
I usually only like to post 'Around The Web' one day a week, but I am making an exception today. The King of Cappers, Casperfan had some caps and video's of the absolutely adorable Christian Cooke from the ITV2 drama 'Trinity' that I had to share. This guys is amazing and Casperfan, as always, delivered with his amazing caps! Check out more at his site HERE:
Oh My... If I lived in The South, it was the 50's and I were a 66 year old woman I might just need the 'smelling salts'.
Either way, Eddie Cibrian gets better with age! I remember first seeing Eddie on 'The Young And The Restless' when I was in University. His 'brief' scene in 'Living Out Loud' still brings back fond memories.