Monday, March 16, 2015

Wait'll We Get Our Hanes On You!: AK Brown by Bob Burkhardt

'One of my goals is to become the model on the Hanes underwear package...I've got the abs for it :-) lol. And maybe a Crest toothpaste commercial! At 32 years young, I feel like anything I haven't pursued and have a passion for must get attention now or in the very near future. Not that I think I'm old, but Im not getting any younger and why not give something a fair chance... You either fail or succeed in life!'

'An exciting and evocative celebration of the nude male form at its most compelling...'

Every year about this time, as we morph from winter into spring and as we shake off the effects of our St. Paddy's Day festivities, photographer Bob Burkhardt celebrates Body & Soul. This marks Atlanta's PB&J gallery's 5th annual celebration of Body & Soul. Bob Burkhardt returns with strong composition lighting, and Trevor Green offers bold, colorful body paint. Plus, this year adds a new dimension to the mix with provocative and erotic video art by Terence Davis. This year's event features male figurative photography and video art, the new exhibition showcases striking imagery ranging from sensuous color to dramatic black and white. If you're in the Atlanta area, the artist reception is this Saturday, March 21st at the Howard St. Gallery.

New to the show this year, Bob Burkhardt's first book, Body & Soul, will be unveiled and available for purchase. The hardbound, coffee-table book features dramatic, never-before-seen images of models who have figured prominently in past shows. If you're a regular reader of the blog, you will have felt, and enjoyed, many of the bodies, and many of the souls that artist Bob Burkhardt has shared with FH.

Bob strives to lure the viewer into his work, always transforming the image into an arresting visual. Some of the models featured include Andre Avery, Denerick Lindsey, Chris Rich, Martell Todd, XL as well as the body and soul you are currently devouring, Atlanta model AK Brown.

'AK is a master at the art of subtle. He is deceptively quiet in his modeling technique. He seduces you with a look and then melts you with his smile. He and I have worked together on two occasions. The second session is reflected in the book. I've shot many models in my bedroom but his images stand apart. Always gentle and warm, he is a pleasure to have in front of the camera.'

Gentle and warm are two of the many adjectives that I thought and felt while spending time with Bob's images of AK. At 6' 1", AK's strength and physical attributes are clear, but the surprise is that subtle warmth which is clearly evident. I felt it most strongly with in the black & white's as the light from the window illuminates and warms AK's body as well as his soul. Some of that strength may derive from AK's real name, Ade Kwame which means Royalty born on Saturday. AK moved to Atlanta in 2003 in pursuit of a business degree from Morehouse College, but his true pursuit is his passion for music. AK sings, writes and produces music and has his own music production company, Akzygen (oxygen) B. Productions.

'I'm pretty much a free spirit...kind hearted, caring, and most things I do are done with a smile on my face. I like to take chances so I moved here with nothing but an AAS in Business Administration in my pocket. I am a very laid-back guy. kinda shy at times, but I love family and friends and tend to have the most when with them. My friends are my extended family! I like to mix cocktails for them especially when we can all get together... plus, bartending is my side gig. I've been a mixologist for 5 years now.'

Bob and AK connected through Model Mayhem and Facebook, Bob has seen some of AK's previous work and wanted to connect about a shoot. AK was also aware of Bob's work and says the feeling was definitely mutual! AK has always has aspirations to model, even when he was a kid he could visualize himself on the cover of GQ Magazine. AK is also motivated by the fact that it is still a mostly untapped business when it comes to models of color, especially in high fashion and runway. I loved that AK mentioned being on the cover of a package of Hanes underwear. For many of us, enjoying those images of underwear models, as we walked through the department store aisles, was a powerful and important part of an erotic awakening.

'Working with Bob is almost effortless because he gives great direction and has an eye for how he wants his images to turn out. He makes you feel as comfortable as just sitting around conversing over coffee while shooting. ..minus the body twisting and contortions, lol. The day we shot in the bedroom I could tell he knew exactly what he was looking for. As a model, I tried my best to give as many diverse looks as possible. It was a smooth shoot and as always I was pleased with the final outcome. . Bob does a great job of building confidence in his models and translating that confidence into a great photo.'

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