'While I almost always shoot in the streets of New York, occasionally weather or the story that needs to be told requires an alternative location...'
Those who tune into FH on a regular basis know the work of New York artist Richard Rothstein. Most of my stories about Richard's work focuses on the work he does during the spring, summer and fall. During those seasons, Richard roams the streets of New York, usually with a hot, half-naked model in toe, chronicling the shapes and design of not only the model, but the heartbeat of the city encircled around him.
The lower the temperature drops, the harder it is to get other things, mostly pants, to drop as well. Although Richard has managed to persuade a few brave souls to strip down when things start to freeze, (Shuffle off to Buffalo) Last winter, I was privileged to be able to share Richard's interior work in a two part story, (Application Process and Production Assistant) which became one of my favorite series of images to feature.
So, come December, Richard is forced to capture Manhattan through windows, glass which protects exposed skin from the wind chill factor on the other side. Although those windows might protect skin from the exposure of cold, it cannot protect the body from exposure to voyeuristic eyes. This is especially true when you have a model like John G, who opens the retro colored hotel drapes wide, inviting in an eagerly awaiting audience to take in all he has to offer.
Partly inspired and informed by Richard's experience working the front desk of the hotel, the story within the images is arousingly apparent. The story of why and how, on one quiet winter afternoon, John and Richard ended up in the hotel room, is what adds to the erotic texture of the tale.
'I wanted to do something sensual, soft and romantic but sometimes the story tells itself and the photographer and the model just follow obediently. I had just discovered a new app, dayuse.com, an app that provides hotel rooms during the day when they would otherwise be vacant. This allows you to score a great hotel room for several hours at a huge discount. This seemed like a great way to find some alternative locations for a photoshoot.'
'Little did I know. So, I can be incredibly naive. Maybe not naive, but so focused on what I’m doing that I will miss something obvious. I app’d my way within minutes to a Best Western Premier in Herald Square and scored a king size room with a great city view. When I showed up at the desk and gave the clerk my name, she reached for a handwritten list instead of tapping away at her computer. I handed over my photo id and credit card, but the clerk hesitated, looked me in the eye and giggled. “Really? Everyone pays cash.” It hit me that this was an app for cheaters.'
'Hotels including Best Western, Marriotts, Hiltons, W’s, the Standard in the Meatpacking District and so many others (check out the app) in New York and in major cities around the world had signed up for an app that allows folks to anonymously check into a hotel room a few hours during the day, pay cash and just disappear without leaving a paper trail of any sort. This infidelity-fueled app is surely a scandal waiting to happen.'
'Waiting for my model, John G., I messed up the sheets, steamed up the room and in my mind the story quickly morphed from sensual, soft and romantic to raw, hard and lusty. John, a graphic artist who only models on the side, was as drawn by the dayuse.app story as much as I was. I also suspect that upon learning about this app, John was imagining quite a few future shenanigans—which also helped drive our story. I felt obliged to leave the room in a disheveled mess, and we did.'
Check out more for the series on the OVER-FLOW!