Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Totally Old School: JT Tucker by Christopher Singleton
Last month when I profiled photographer Robert Colgan (Face Pressed To The Window) I talked about the nexus between the location a artist lives and their work. In the case of photographer Christopher Singleton the connection is huge yet not really able to be seen. When I learned Christopher was from Albuquerque I was instantly fascinated. I don't think I have profiled many photographers from New Mexico yet know it has a rich and diverse community of artists.
I described the impact as huge but not seen because Christopher, who describes himself as a semi-professional photographer, formerly shot mostly landscapes. He has recently migrating towards male portraiture and nudes.
'The New Mexico landscapes are beautiful, but many times I felt I wasn't doing it justice. Also, I had a strong desire to distance myself from the many other artists of all media and their representations of the natural landscape. Landscapes are also a solitary endeavour, and working with live models naturally forces human interaction and collaboration. Being a natural introvert, this has helped my personal growth.'
Christopher describes his work as 'old school' as he only shoots in black and white film, although his finished prints may be toned or painted, or finished using an alternative printing process. Christopher says a common theme with all of his models is line, light and shadow. Christopher believes that there is something interesting about every model and that it is his job to bring that out in the images.
'I'm only old school with my art. I studied engineering in college, and I enjoy keeping up with new and emerging technologies. Sticking with film and alternative printing process has helped me learn the history of these technologies and inspires me to break the rules.'
I think Christopher's use of black and white is particularly effective in his work with 23 year old modelJT Tucker. JT is incredibly hot and also incredibly natural. His long hair, body and minimal manscaping almost have a retro feel. So many of today's models are often plucked, made-up and photoshopped to the point of losing their natural essence and natural sexual energy. The use of black and white creates almost a timeless quality to his work. With Christopher's lens, these shots of JT, even in the motel shoot (below), could have been taken in almost any of the last 4 or 5 decades.
Christopher says JT (Jesse) Tucker is one of the first male models he worked with and says he's been a true joy to work with. Christopher describes JT as free spirit who's very comfortable in front of the camera. I love JT's look and what drew me to Christopher's work initially was his Motel series shown below.
Christopher's current focus is a new series entitled Have A Seat. Christopher says the idea for Have a Seat came from a desire to have a common thread linking a series of figure studies.
'I'd previously used the chair for a portrait series, and my eye was drawn to the clean lines of the chair in contrast with the lines of the male figure. In addition to the common theme, I thought it would be interesting to record how each model interacted with the chairs.'
You can see more of Christopher's work, including some of his Have A Seat shots on his site HERE:
JT Tucker by Christopher Singleton