Tuesday, November 29, 2011
From the age of about 16, whenever I could, I traveled. All though my late teens and early twenties I went away whenever the opportunity arose. The problem was I kept going back to the same places. I had two close friends in New York so I went there about seven times, an aunt in Boston took me there three or four times. Florida, Montreal, Toronto, Milwaukee and Maine were all places I frequented more than once. When I turned 28 I accepted a full time job. Since then, finding the time and money to take off has not been as easy. (why did I seem to have more cash before I was employed full time...)
I have several dream destinations, the same places as many of you I'm sure, Paris, Australia, Africa, Thailand and London (London actually has a planned date and savings account going). The closest location on my dream list would be Hawaii. My connection to the Islands is skimpy but nonetheless and intense one. An old collection of Hawaii records my parents had when I was a kid began it all. For years we had shelves of these records, many from the K-Tel collection, but no working record player to actually play them on. That did not stop me from taking the records to my room and spending hours listening to my cassettes while studying the art work on the album covers. My parents loved Hawaii and went every second year leaving us kids at home with a angry aunt not used to taking care of anyone but herself. They always brought us home something and the cheapest looking tacky souvenirs became symbols of future adventure.
When I picture Hawaii it is still the vision I had when I was 8 staring at those album covers. I know Hawaii is far more than luaus and grass skirts but I do love how the culture is so heavily impacted by it's location. Hawaii always had me dreaming of what life would be like if we lived somewhere in between the ocean and the land, spending our time between the two worlds but never spending too much time in just one.
If your a member of JustADream you are undoubtedly familiar with one of it's most popular posters David Asset. David has also been a frequent contributor to FH, chronicling and sharing many of the videos I use each year from the solo strips which precede the annual Broadway Bares show.
Early in October David entered a self-portrait competition over at one of my favorite places to visit each day Aussielicious. The site, as many of know, is run by the photographer Brenton Parry and is a welcoming site that I have enjoyed frequenting for a few years now. David's beautiful window shot brought him not only third place but his own feature on the site the following month.
In his Aussielicious feature, the former television executive and ACE-certified Aerobics Master Presenter shared his love of the Islands and his time, usually naked, on the their many beaches. In the shots below, David had just competed in an Aerobics Marathon in NYC and headed to Hawaii shortly afterwards for a holiday to relax and chill out.
'I love the freedom of a nude beach, emerging from the waters just as unencumbered as the day on which you were born. What's great about both Donkey Beach and Little Beach is that they are both visited by an eclectic bunch of people: tourists on holiday who want to be daring, locals who simply want to lay back at the end of the day, surfers out to tame the wild waves and families with children unashamed of their nakedness, gays and straights out for a day of camaraderie and fortunately very few gawkers.'
'Donkey Beach on Kauai is unfortunately becoming more gentrified and its status as a nude beach is being threatened by the development of multimillion dollar cooperative apartments nearby and I fear it will soon be off-limits to nudists. Little Beach on the other hand sits high above the Cliffs and requires a long, somewhat difficult journey over sand and rocks so will probably remain a nude for years to come.'
David Asset is an aspiring videographer and purveyor of vintage movie posters currently living in both New York City and Rancho Mirage, California. Thanks David for sharing your time in Hawaii, and your pics with FH!
Jason Momoa has to be one of the hottest Hawaiian actors to make a splash the last year or two. Born in Honolulu, Momoa moved to Norwalk, Iowa but as he got older the Islands called him home where he returned to attend college.
In the late 90's, Momoa was discovered by designer Takeo who helped launch his modeling career. Soon after in 1999, Jason won 'Hawaii's Model of the Year.' Jason has a passion for travel, exploring and adventure. Ice climbing, snowboarding, mountain biking, long board skateboarding and roller hockey are all activities he has loved over the years.
Jason joined the cast of Baywatch Hawaii in 1999 and remained with the show for the next two years. Appearance on North Shore, The Game and Stargate: Atlantis followed. 2011 saw Jason move from supporting to lead roles with memorable turns on HBO's Game Of Thrones and the lead in the remake of Conan the Barbarian. Jason will be seen next in Bullet To The Head with Christian Slater and Sylvester Stallone.
Game of Thrones (2011)
Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Screencaps via DaveID and Superherfan
Now I know the first two shots of Mark (above & below) may not scream Hawaii, but...they were one of the inspirations for today's posts. I have long admired the work of Ron Reyes and a few weeks ago when he posted the shot below on his photography facebook page I instantly contacted him. Ron's image, the pose, Mark's long lean and fit body, breathtaking!
Now truth be told Ron Reyes is not currently living in Hawaii. He lives and works in Laguna Hills California. Ron is however, one of only a few artists who incorporate traditional Hawaiian imagery as a theme within their work. The vibrant colors, the energy and rhythm associated with Hawaii can be felt in each of his images, even those with more subtle nods to the Islands and their culture.
Although Ron no longer lives in Hawaii it is a permanent part of who he is and it appears to be a mission to share his Pacific Island background and the beauty of the Island Culture with other parts of the country. Ron used to dance Hula but now concentrates on his music, singing and performing with his ukulele in Huntington Beach.
Before I moved on to Piano I played the ukulele and cannot count (or block out) the many times my parents insisted I play 'yellow bird' for aunts and uncles and anyone who visited our home who was over the age of 40. Although the ukulele never seemed to catch on in other parts of the US, it became a very popular instrument in schools especially for kids in Canada and Japan. No matter what the song or what genre is being played, connections to the Islands are always made. Although I no longer play on a regular basis, I still grab it whenever I am going camping or to a function music will be played.
Ron's passion for his home is present in each image he creates. I especially love the way he surrounds many of his models with tree's, plants and foliage. You can also see his passion for shooting models from various cultures and backgrounds. Ron is clear though that although he uses art within his work the focus is to remain the model. His goal is not to take away, but to enhance, and he surrounds his models with beauty that is equal to their own.
Mahalo Ron Reyes for sharing your work with FH!
Check out more of Ron's work:
On his sites HERE: & HERE:
Jason JC Wang