Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Mack Sturgis Studio
A Creative Adventure Into An Uninhibited Mind Through Photography
As is usually the case, it is often one particular image that inspires me to seek out more work from the photographer. In the case of Dallas artist Mack Sturgis it was the image below of model Gary Gersbach. I love this shot! The darkness, the light hitting such beautiful places. The bed position and model position create a simple yet complete story. With Gary's face mostly hidden, the mood is created almost entirely through pose and light.
'I had just finished the entire art package for the renovation of a Major Airport Hotel...had one of the suites overlooking the runway for the weekend and thought it would be cool to bring in a model to shoot in the space. The shots of Gary are what evolved from that shoot. It was very comfortable working with him and he was great with interpreting my direction...and very much a sport about wearing the mask! There was intriguing energy in the rooms during the shoot...'
Soooo.... As I usually do, I began with the first image on Mack's Model Mayhem page and after enjoying each shot, pushed the arrow to move on to the next. Many of the first section of shots were of Gary, including the incredible shot above.
Then...and rather abruptly, Mack's work took a sudden and unexpected left turn. Most photographers, good ones anyway, have some slight twists and turns, back and forth along the way. With Mack the turn was more dramatic and unexpected. Faces began to sport gas masks and the darkness that initially drew me in became more specific, more violent and more intentional.
Themes of death and destruction, war and torture are weaved within the beautiful and erotic. Although this is not the first time I have seen such themes incorporated into images of the male form, but I think this is the first time I have seen it done so effectively.
Many people seem to gravitate towards things that scare them. I am not so sure I am one of those people. With FH especially, I often pass on work that I think might be too provocative and especially work that's violent. What I cannot pass up on however is work that inspires me. I think provocative is only actually scary when its badly done. In the case of Mack Sturgis, his work did not simply create one emotion but on a roller coaster ride of them. Beginning with arousal moving quickly to shock and surprise through a bit of disgust, some sadness leading to oddly enough a little hope. The hope stems less from the images themselves but more from the actual creation of them.
Capturing moments in time through light.
Through experimenting with light and reflection, Mack has been creating powerful, original images which energize the mind for close to 30 year. Mack's goal is to allow the images, born in his mind, to emerge through the lens as closely as possible to what his mind had seen. Mack's images are created entirely combining the depth of his imagination and the ability of the camera to recreate them using combinations of lighting, camera movement and lens manipulation.
'The images are an attempt to honestly express in an uninhibited way ideas which have naturally evolved in his mind...images which may evoke a wide range of emotions, passions, stimulation's and conversations. Mack's desire is for the viewer to experience them with the same open mind he used to create them.'
Most of us, especially as we become older, become skilled at censoring and manipulating the ideas and thoughts which stream through our mind. Whether it be to conform or out of fear, it is a risky concept to share exactly what your thinking or envisioning. It is in the taking of the risk that really seems to truly define an artist. Creating the vision, and not a generically accepted version of it, is what makes Mack's work so absorbing.
Church & StateSuspended Cruciform
For those who check out FH on a regular basis you know, I tend to often get a little long winded in my descriptions of the images that I love. With the exception of the final image below, I will let Mack's work speak for itself. Mack says that there is no literal translation for his work.
'It is work that should be perceived and assessed by the viewer without thought of suggestion'.
I encourage you all to explore and assess more of Mack's work on his official site HERE: You can also see more of his recent work by 'liking' his photography page of Facebook HERE:
Also be sure to check out the artists unique visual abstract images at Decompressionism by Bettinger Studio
Birth Of The Bomb
Birth of the Bomb signifies the birthing position at it is associated with the birth of life. When “man” gave birth to the bomb, he gave birth to death. This image reflects how my mind interprets that event in history.
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