Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Piece Of Art: Teak by MaleVisionS Photography

'It is a joy to be around art and to do my part in contributing to it. I have control of my body; Seeing that control, embodied in various artistic mediums, is thrilling.'

There have always been people who seem to lack the ability to distinguish the difference between art and porn. For many, any visual depiction of a breast, butt or vagina, heaven forbid a penis, are thrown into the category of porn. Although there are many artists who thankfully like to push the boundaries, many of us believe what separates art from porn has nothing to do with a naked body. For me, it has always been about intent, the pose and especially the face.

Arousal seems to confuse some even further. Both art and porn can be arousing, erotic and sexual. Art requires it's audience to enjoy, appreciate and hold on to that feeling, at least for awhile. Porn on the other hand, demands you act upon that feeling, and the sooner the better. How many times have we seen an image of a model where their eyes, their mouth, and their facial expression turn an image into something raunchy, even though the model is fully or partially clothed. On the other hand, you have images like this set of Teak by MaleVisionS. Teak's poses and facial expressions, even though erotic and provocative, are done to create not just a physical reaction, but an emotional one as well. Porn connects the viewer to a body, art connects the viewer to a person.

'Through modeling, I hope to normalize nudity. Some of the shots I have taken are not intended to be erotic, for there is beauty in the form of the human body that transcends seduction. Its not necessarily that I think my photos aren't erotic, but they’re not pornographic. There is a proper medium between fake or over-sexualized material and emotionless forms. That is where I try to be. It's also just fun to see how contorting my body produces in a shot. Modeling can be complex. With communication between model and photographer, shadows, textures, lighting, poses, and many more factors that can affect a shot, both the model and the photographer need to be very conscious to produce quality work.'

I love the way Teak uses his body to create living sculptures. Teak and Dan (MaleVisionS) skilfully avoid any unnecessary clutter, thus, avoiding any barriers in connecting model with emotion and of course, viewer. When asked what body part gets the most attention, Teak shares that he gets a lot of comments about his back, butt, and penis as well as how his eyes interact with the viewer. The 23 year old Tuscan model's long lean body comes from staying active, but not through daily work out routines or lifting weights. 'I think that an active lifestyle, mental health, and a diet focused on local products produce a beautiful body. By normalizing nudity, we can promote health and destroy the entrenched fear of the human body.' Teak's desire to normalize the nude male form can be challenging, especially with the myriad of offers nude male models often receive.

'Somebody asked if I wanted to do a bondage scene in a shower for a short film. I considered the offer, but I feel like nude modeling edges between porn and figure modeling. I would rather focus my work on the body, or art in the human form. This is in part because of my intent to show people that the human body is a piece of art, not something worthy of shame.'

'Teak is a natural. As soon as the first strobe fired he was "on". While I initially gave him direction it became clear to me early on that I should just shut up and turn him loose. I did just that and the results speak for themselves. What a great morning it was. I have had the privilege of shooting Teak on two more occasions and each shoot was more fun and rewarding than the one before. I have been shooting figure study for 20 years and in that time I can count on one hand the times I have had a model bring to the shoot more than just a beautiful physique. It is something that I cannot describe other than to say I know the model has this added talent as soon as the first strobe fires. Teak has this talent and is just a joy to shoot.'

MaleVisionS' Dan Nelson works hard to create an environment in which the model is comfortable and relaxed, especially when shooting nudes. 'It has been my experience if the model is uncomfortable with the photographer, it shows in the images.' Teak was referred to Dan by photographer friend who felt Teak had great potential as a figure study model. The first time they shot, Dan's had no shooting plan in mind other than getting him in front of the his camera to see where their imaginations make take them. The results of there first shoots can be seen in the last two black and white shots at the bottom. Dan's philosophy of shooting a figure study is that the process is a collaborative one and works hard to to ensure the models he shoots are engaged in the process.

'Working with MalevisionS was pretty smooth since I had already modeled once previously and knew what the camera would read from the shadows on my body. Dan made a comfortable atmosphere and coached me through the poses with compliments and mild coaxing. The first shoot was on a thick cloth so I flowed through poses and the material allowed me to truly relax. The second shoot was similarly relaxed, but the grey backdrop made me feel more icy. The shots showed my poses were more striking and the angles of my body, sharper. Dan is talkative and direct when he sees something that looks right, while I’m moving around on the set. Good communication leads to good prints!'

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