Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Don't ask me why I had 2 Broke Girls on last night. I am not really a fan. The shows racial stereotyping is off the charts and it's wasting the talents of the incredible Jennifer Coolidge are just the beginning of reasons not to watch. Star Kat Dennings Max has to be one of the most unlikable characters ever to grace a sit-com.
But...as it played in the background last night as I was worked away on my taxes. something, well...someone, had me dropping my receipts and taking notice. I was not sure it was possible to actually enjoy an episode of the series, but actor Tim Chiou succeeded in ensuring just that. The 32 year old had me paying attention and I hope to see more of his work. Tim has appeared on Parenthood, House, CSI NY, Dollhouse, Grey's Anatomy and Southland. Check out more of Tim at his official site HERE:
When I begin putting together a profile for FH, I usually start by discussing which image featured was the inspiration to have me research the work of the artist involved. In the case of Florida photographer Lee Vandergrift, the image that first drew my eye was a beautiful shot of a model leaning in front of a sun soaked window in Venice Italy.
But...when I going through Lee's site to choose shots for the piece, the choice of which images, and which model I wanted to use, became more complicated. Eventually it was the beautiful face and incredible green eyes of Chase that had me wanting to find out more. Lee has shot Chase several times and his portfolio provides an array of fashion shots and looks. Those incredible green eye's however, almost got in the way...
Lee had devised an idea for a shoot with the theme, 'Brown Eyed Boys.' Lee says that at the time he had been shooting a lot of guys with brown eyes and brown hair. After mentioning this pattern to Tim, his partner, Tim suggested instead of trying to look for other types of models with different looks that Lee should concentrate on a shoot bringing together the guys he had been shooting who fell into this category.
'Plan A always ends up as Plan B. I was able to get Alex, brown hair brown eyes. I was able to get Bart, brown hair and brown eyes but finding a third was difficult. It seemed every model I wanted was unavailable. Bart said he had a friend who could do it and needed help with his portfolio, Chase. I found out as we were beginning that his eyes where actually green, not brown. THAT'S why the shoot took on the "ABC" name Alex, Bart and Chase.'
'My concept was to play on the whole “wolf pack” craze or that of three brothers hanging out doing what brothers do, standing around with their shirts off and modeling. That’s sarcasm if you didn’t pick up on that... But hey, it’s Summer and it’s hotter than all get out here in the Sunshine State so standing around with your shirt off is about all you can do if you don’t have a pool! That’s why we were very lucky to have another location inside!'
'Our next shoot we just went out and shot on locations around Orlando. I love driving around and doing what I call "Kamikaze" shooting and Chase is very amenable to this style of photography. He's smart and easy to work with and the camera loves his face. To me he's perfectly proportioned body and face and a great innocent sex appeal about him.'
'Chase has a lot of ambition and drive. It was a pleasure working with him and his sense of adventure was terrific! Despite the heat of a mid- August day in the Sunshine state he was a real pro.( Even though I was about to pass out) I hope I can shoot with Chase more and look forward to watching his career. Chase is defiantly one to watch!'
Lee Vandergrift was born and raised in Central Florida. He has seen things artistically all his life and at the age of 20 decided to harness this artistic energy into a career by attending the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota. He majored in Illustration with a minor in Photography. The artist spent six years working at Buster Brown Children’s Apparel in Chattanooga, Tennessee as an artist working with designers producing art for children’s clothing. Although Lee says he enjoyed the work, he feels he was was destined to return home to Orlando.
On his website, Lee describes his current style of work, which he does in his free time, as an expression of himself which reflects his love of whimsy and brilliant colors.
'It’s really just about being inspired on what happens from day to day and the happiness of being alive. Some may love it and others may not, but in the end it’s about making yourself happy.'
Check out more of Lee's work on his website HERE:
& on ModelMayhem HERE:
My passion for the arts, especially the expression of oneself through the visual arts, means I am not a fan or supporter of censorship or any kind. Of course I have my own personal boundaries, we all do. I do not support the exploitation of children or support any art form with an intent to harm or promote bigotry or hate. Because of my own personal experiences, I also dislike any form of cruelty in any aspect of my life, art included.
Now, before anyone says it in the comment section, I know that I am most likely being over sensitive with this issue. But... I was rather disturbed recently with the series of shots making the rounds on sites, forums and blogs of the Patriota Twins. The images themselves did not bother me as much as the reactions to them. I found it hard to get my head around how many people, both posters and readers, found the depiction of incest themes so sexually arousing and hot. The men are without a doubt hot, but their relationship? Really...
Above: Carlson Twins by Bruce Weber.
I work in a profession where dealing with the aftermath of incest is a regular part of my week. Incest is generally not an adult issue, it is usually something that begins in childhood and more often than not, one or both of the those involved are victims. Although there are certainly sexual components to it, the pain it usually causes to all involved is nothing close to hot. It's motivators are usually rooted in depression, desperation, often isolation and mental illness and always, always in pain.
Bruce & Seth Hall by Steven Underhill
I wonder what the reaction would be to a brother and sister posed in similar sexually provocative ways? What about a father or mother with their daughter or son... My gut is that it would not be so welcomed as hot on mainstream blogs and websites. Yet, many gay websites praised and welcomed the Patriolta's. Are two hot men together hot regardless of their relationship?
A wise friend of mine recently pointed out to me that the theme is not new and has been a part of many photo series I have loved over the years. Obviously homoerotic themes have been apart of many classic images of brothers, most notably the Carlson's by Bruce Weber and The Hall Twins by Steven Underhill. I was never bothered by any of these shots. Underhill's series with the Hall twins was one the first series of shots saved to a folder when I joined the web. The Carlson's work with Weber is also at the top of my list of favorite shoots.
Am I a hypocrate? Why was I so bugged by the shots that came out of the Patriota's work... The Carlson's, The Halls, The Cannata's, The Guedes, Harrison's and Stenmark's all were shot using a same similar theme. I came to the conclusion it was not the homoerotic relationship between the brothers that bothered me the most. Unlike Weber and Underhill's work, there is careless lack of creativity and an obvious laziness used with the Patriolta's. It was clear the photographers simply thought having two great looking me in front of them required nothing more than having them lusting after one another, the fact they were bothers, unimportant. In Weber's work with the Carlson's and Underhill's with the Hall's, the realtionship between the two brothers was a central part of each image, it's power gave the images their meaning and their strength. With the Patriolta's they were just two hot men, any thought to another level within the work was left at the door, or on the floor.
Maybe I am really off the mark, and maybe I am reading far too much into it but Weber's captures of the Carlson's jumping naked in the air after the football is an incredible artistic and creative image. Most of the images of the Patriota's...not so much.
Marcos and Marcio Patriota
Twincestlicious btw is not my term but a fitting description I read on a forum about the images.
Monday, February 27, 2012
I cannot believe that FH is in it's fifth year and I have not done a profile of the work of photographer Mark Leighton. I think I felt I already had... I have loved Mark's work for awhile, he was one of a handful of photographers who I searched for before google, on excite and yahoo, when I first got online. I think his work, shooting men on the incredible scenic beaches of Lagos, in Portugal, that began a passion for seeking out images beyond the studio.
The beaches of Lagos are so much more than sand beneath and sun above. The surroundings are breathtakingly unique with extraordinary rock and cliff formations that almost look like time has stood beautifully still.
I think those beaches have become a welcomed fixture within my consciousness, and another reason I thought I must have profiled Mark's before now. Several models have sent work through images of their time with Mark on those beaches. I have also been fortunate to have profiled the work of Mark Montovio from Mount Photography. Montovio, besides being a good friend of Leighton's, usually visits Portugal, along with several models, once a year and the two artists shoot their subjects in the water, and along those beaches together.
When contacting Mark about a profile, I first had to pick a subject. Sometimes when I profile an artist I like to choose a selection of my favorite shots from their portfolio. Other times, I like to choose a model that I think sums up what I love best about their imagery. With Mark, his work with model Victor Constantin did just that. Mark says that Victor is the only model who lives locally so they have had the opportunity to shoot several times. Although I included a couple of shots of Victor on the beach, their latest collaboration, with Victor on the bed certainly caught my eye. The shots with the red sheets and apple are both innocent and erotic and tantalizingly naughty.
The mix of naughty and nice stems from Victor's beautiful face, hazel eyes and incredible lips. He exudes both venerability and a knowing strength through his eyes and facial expressions. Although just 19 he seems to know exactly what he wants.
'I first saw him when he was working as a summer waiter at a restaurant. I could see he had a great look about him but he seemed quite shy, so I didn't ask him if he wanted to model until I had visited the restaurant a few times. By then, I had seen he had a dazzling smile and was interested in fashion, so I thought I would risk it and ask him. He was very enthusiastic and we arranged a shoot.'
'After just a few shots he settled in and was very comfortable with the camera and was good at taking direction. Needless to say, I could see he was very photogenic. Each time we have shot he has made more progress as a model and at the last shoot was more sensual and we worked on getting some more expression - facially and with the body.'
Check out more of Mark's work on ModelMayhem & his official Website HERE:
You can see more of Victor on Mark's site and on his ModelMayhem page HERE:
Above:Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne and Jim Rash
To be honest I can't really be bothered to write a full review of last nights Oscars. I guess I have reached the point where dispute all the hype, the show has generally been nothing less than colossally boring for quite awhile now. I must though give credit for Jim Rash, who while accepting his award for adapted screenplay, who unlike the shows host, made a great 'in the moment' jab at Angelina's pose. That pose is everywhere today including having it's own Twitter page!