Summer of 1993
David by Robert J Guttke
Usually when I profile the work of an artist for the first time, I begin with giving a little bit of background and filling in a bit of biographical information. Today, for a couple of reasons I am not. Firstly; anyone serious about the subject of men in art knows the work of Robert J Guttke. Robert has been capturing the male form through drawings, sculptures and eventually film, for over twenty years. Robert's work, his books, calendar's and sculptures have achieved a following beyond those who usually seek out images of naked men.(like me and many of you...)
Secondly, I first connected with Robert a couple of months about a feature for tMf. With that upcoming, I did not want to duplicate any information, images and stories that Robert shared for that piece. Consider these images of David as a bit of an appetizer, the first course of what promises to be a more than satisfying visual feast.
'The rocks behind crumbled and avalanched around him the moment after I snapped this shot. It was very worrisome. After all, I was down below and could have been hurt.'
Robert J Guttke
During the during the summer of 93 Robert worked with David more than any other model. Getting started however, proved a bit of a challenge. When the artist first approached him about shooting, David appeared nervous, even a little frightened, and ended up bringing some of his football buddies with him to the initial interview. Thankfully, the nerves were not a sign of future problems, Robert reports he quickly became very comfortable and began to just enjoy being naked.
Although his nerves never got in the way of Robert's vision and the creation of the images the artist was after, they did crop up in different ways throughout that summer. Despite his magnificent body and obvious physical strengths, David often used Robert as a confidant, sharing his doubts about dating and the woman he was seeing. Robert, often acting as David's own Cyrano de Bergerac quietly supported David through the relationship process from hand holding and romance all the way through David's proposal. (David played violin, and Robert suggested Meditation from Thais) She of course, said yes.
'99% of these images are all scanned from film - remember film- hence they don't have that polished, plastic look of digital. When on location I worked with fast film, never knowing what light I would discover. No reflectors. No assistants. Just me, the subject, and the sounds of nature around us. Once when shooting on the ice a herd of deer walked past!'
'I usually ask the guys to just look pissed. Makes for better drama since I am stretching bodies into pain thresholds...'
There are many photographers currently reigning as masters of capturing the male form. Robert J Guttke is not however, really that interested in vying for a position. His place is already clearly defined. Robert continues to take his work, his models, to places far beyond where most others dare to go. It is a place where having a model drop their pants in front of a colored background isn't quite enough. It is a place where having a model with a great body and mad photoshopping skills are really of little use. This place is one where limits are pushed and boundaries don't really exist. An incredible architectural wasteland, somewhere between what one can do, with something they really should not be even trying.
-Robert J Guttke Official Site-
-The work of Robert J Guttke represented here is with the explicit permission of the photographer for FH only. Please do not use or copy images or text without acquiring permission from the copy write holder-