Monday, June 2, 2014
Males, Tales & Careers Derailed: Scott by Robert J Guttke
In the image above, Models Suck are the two words spread across the cement wall behind the beautiful body and smile of Scott Synold. I am not sure if artist Robert J. Guttke was initially intending to send a message to his model, but in the end the two words do take on a particular irony given how the story unfolded.
Robert J. Guttke's work rejuvenates. His images inspire, invariably renewing my love and passion for the male form with art and photography. Robert understands instinctively how to pose, frame and permanently memorialize that fleeting moment of physical perfection. Robert J. Guttke is also a writer and storyteller and opening an e-mail from Robert brings forth not just breathtaking images, but fascinating stories of his work, his models and blood sweat and tears that went into the creation of each image.
Robert J. Guttke is also a gentlemen. He has respect for the process and the men and women who have entrusted their bodies, and sometimes soul's, to his artistic hands. Sometimes the stories are not pretty. Models can indeed sometimes suck. Like every profession, there are always some that act unprofessionally, are late or blow off a shoot, are rude, self centred and bring personal issues and baggage to their work. The same of course can be said for photographers, some have clear artistic aspirations, some others may have divergent goals, not directed solely at capturing a great image. As a story teller myself, it is these tales of males, many which act as parables, which I deliciously devour.
Robert J. Guttke has thousands of these stories, most sadly, but yet respectfully will never be told. What I can tell you is time can sometimes help make stories less noisy. A bad experience with a model can sometimes create clutter, acting as a filter to muddy an artists ability to truly appreciate their own work. That is the case with these images of Scott.
The story, the experience, caused Robert to put the images away, both physically and emotionally. Scott's modeling career seemed to stall and except for the occasional sighting of him running along the lake, the images, and the experience were soon forgotten. Robert has been slowly making his way through his massive collection of work, scaning much of his film work to digital. It was through this process the images of Scott again emerged. Looking back now, Robert says he is able to enjoy the work, without all the baggage, and just enjoy what he created. I am glad Robert did. As viewers, those not connected directly to the story, we are able to enjoy the images and the artistry behind them. Robert captures every inch of Scott with detailed precision. Every inch of his body celebrated, his beautiful eyes and Clark Kent shaped face and jaw. His chest, arms and powerful legs. His penis, his neck and overall frame, each muscle and protruding vein captured. Imperfect in life unimportant to the camera and the artist able see beyond it.