Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Unfinished Wood: Miguel by H2H-images

'Chairs are like sculpture.'

Holidays often mean a surplus of house guests, each with a butt that wants to be seated. When my family was here for dinner last month, there were not enough chairs at the table for my niece and her two friends, both whom tagged along without being invited. I pulled out two old wooden chairs from the spare bedroom and a third from a back hall. The fist two I had taken when I moved out, passed down from my grandparents, to my parents and now to me. The third was a flea market purchase mostly because both of the arms had been carved to look like lion heads.

All three girls, already annoyed at me for having to put away their phones, complained pretty much in unison about how hard and uncomfortable the chairs were. The rest of us mostly ignored the whining and their discomfort with their seating gave them a good excuse to leave the table early and get back to their phones. The chairs served me well, removing the negative element from the table as quickly as possible. When everyone had left and I was putting things away I thanked those chairs. Two made it back to the spare room, the lion chair, I made room for in the living room.

Most of us have one or two old wooden chairs in hour homes. In spare rooms, at the end of hallways or in garages or basements. We tell ourselves we hold on to them in case we need them, but in reality hold meaning. Most of them were once in our kitchen's, part of many birthday's and holidays. Many eventually ended up in our bedrooms, shoved in front of the desk we did our homework on.

Furniture didn't used to be made for comfort, it was made to be practical. Kitchen chairs especially were not made for hours of lounging, but a place to stick your ass in order to eat your meal. There is something quite dignified about uncomfortable furniture. It meets the need it was intended to, but not with any frills or extra's. Comfortable furniture makes us lazy, uncomfortable furniture keeps us alert and at attention. It is appropriate then, that when tying up and shooting Miguel, H2H Images chose an old wooden high backed chair. Solid, cold and unrelentingly inflexible. Hard, and devoid of any trace of softness or comfort. The goal was never to comfort Miguel, it was just the opposite. Something is wanted from Miguel, and if his skin was caressing cushion, he might have stayed there all day. When skin meets softness, it tends to settle in, when it's greeted with splintered hardness, it wants to what it has to do to get up and get out.

That feeling of discomfort is one of the things I love best about H2H's artistry. Although the artist has shot models, including Miguel, on more comfortable pieces of furniture, he never wants them to fully relax. H2H-images is a Canadian artist and photographer. He is interested in the male form and pursues that interest in his drawing, painting and photography. He found Miguel to be the perfect model to engage with his camera. 'Confident, and combining the charm of a boy with the virility of a man, Miguel was an equal partner in creating these sensually erotic and beautiful images.'

H2H's work is both unapologetic and raw weaving bareness and barrenness with a voyeuristic and public form of intimacy. Many photographers strive to create a quiet intimacy between the model and camera, as if there is no one in the room, no observers to the moment but just the two of them. H2H wants both his viewer, and especially his models to know the camera is but a window and the their emotional and physical nakedness is being shot for not just two, but thousands of eyes to stare, examine, judge, and enjoy.

1 comment:

Bobby F. said...

I love the stories of your life. :-)