Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Body & Spirit: Andre by Bob Burkhardt
'I was impressed by Andre's striking features, lean physique and ability to express himself through his body.'
Atlanta artist Bob Burkhardt clearly understands how to capture incredible bodies. It is however that expression of self which Bob referenced, that has me continually drawn back to his imagery. In each of the pieces that I have done featuring his work, (which you can see HERE:) Bob manages to not just capture body and movement, he captures the movement of spirit and soul. An energy not seen, but felt literally soaring from the men in front of his lens.
That energy which Bob tapped into with Andre Avery, and the resulting photos from the shoot, were actually featured two years at the artist's pb&j gallery in Atlanta. The exhibition, Body & Soul took place in February of 2011 and you can see some of the images from the exhibit HERE:
To capture a subjects spirit, or soul, means looking beyond what is seen only on the surface, the physical, the body and it's parts and looking even deeper, and even beyond, what is visible through the lens. Spirit is something more felt than seen. If you spend time with at the image at the top which introduces this piece, there is more of Andre felt, even behind the covering of the blind, than in some of the images in which he is more physically exposed.
What is unseen of course, must somehow be translated through the lens and the resulting images. For Bob Burkhardt, this occurs through the locations and set ups he uses, lighting of course and incredible pose and body positioning. I also find the way Bob's model use their faces and eyes fascinating. So many images of the male form seem to use the eyes to help draw the viewer into the image and closer to the body and the parts the photographer wants you to focus on. With Bob's images, his models eyes almost seem to be creating distance, keeping the viewer from coming in too close. This works beautifully to keep the eye on the entire image as a whole in order to fully absorb both the spirit and the full range of body position and movement.
Andre Avery is singer, dancer, actor and model and has been modeling since he was just 14 year old. Andre says what he enjoys most about modeling is the response of the public when on the runway which provides him the energy to ignite in front of the camera. 14 was also the year Andre began taking his other passion of singing seriously and began his professional training in voice.
As with his modeling, it was the pleasure Andre derived from the reaction he received during a performance that brings him the most satisfaction as a performer. Andrew is self-taught in dance and also enjoys acting and concentrates on each of his four talents with an eye to that break which will help turn all of his hard work and dreams into a reality!
Since their first shoot in 2011, Andre took a bit of a break from modeling, but he and Bob got back together and worked together again this past year. Bob shares that the results of their recent shoot will be featured in our upcoming show, NINE: Lens Masters. which opens Oct. 18. The exhibition showcases nine talented photographers spanning a diverse field of specialities and subject matter. Additionally Bob says that his work with Andre will be prominently featured in his upcoming book "Body & Soul."