When I was first introduced to Colby Keller, it wasn't through his videos but his work as a model. I fell in love with his work with photographer Von Melzer and was pleased to be able to feature there work in a piece back in 2011. (Tuned In) I again fell love with his imagery with this series featured on Summer Diary Project from Wadley Photography. Check out the entire set on Summer Diary Project HERE:
The city inspires me with her provocative and fleeting intoxication.
So I photograph the city.
I bitch and scream about it.
I freeze the beauty and ugliness that is disappearing from our beloved city.
It was the dynamic colors used within his work which inspired me to contact New York photographer Justin Cruz earlier in the month. The use of deep blues, reds and purples on, and surrounding his models, draws the viewers eye and attention giving his imagery a vibrancy and energy which beautifully sets them apart.
'Sam is from Central Asia, and currently an international student in NYC. He is a dedicated all-natural fitness enthusiast with a personality like sunshine. He can tell you great recipes of food that feed your muscle, and he knows where to score the best Halal food in the City for an occasional cheat meal.'
In addition to the male form, another inspiration for his work is the city of New York. There are clear interconnected elements which weave within Justin's images of models and with his vision of the city. Justin captures New York as we see and how we feel it with color, bright lights and the energy of the millions of people who live and work there beating just below the surface.
'Michael is a college student in the city. He had modeled on the New York Fashion Week runway, and he also took acting classes. You can tell his acting education is at work when he models for a photo shoot--he has methods he adopts to prepare himself to look a certain way that he wants. He is an excellent model with respectful professionalism.'
Justin's passion for taking photos began when he was just a child. His photographer eyes evolved as he got older, and Justin remember that he was always taking note and paid attention to composition. It was during college that he got serious and he and his partner decided to pursue their passion and began studying with the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP). It was there his photographer's eye was not only emphasized but also rigorous technique expertise. After NYIP, Justin and his partner Lukas Zhao, started planning a business which became the stimulus for Cruz Visionnaire.
'As a Native American born and raised in New York City, I have been actively fighting for the rights for the Native American community, and I served in the American Indian Community House (AICH) Youth Council for a year and received a Bachelor of Arts. And my partner Lukas recently earned his Ph.D. During our studies at NYIP, we have worked on all sort of subjects--landscape, still life, sports, journalism, commercial, fashion, portraiture, animals, etc. Cruz Visionnaire now focuses on the art of male fitness because that's a subject we both are passionate about.'
'We have always been fans of Roman Khodorov (Roman Dawidoff) since he first started modeling. Roman has then quickly gained international fame. Recently he flew from Moscow to NYC. I contacted him and showed him our work, and he liked it! Roman had a busy schedule in NYC and he managed to take some time to shoot with us. We are so thrilled. Roman is a gentleman, and even a little shy to our surprise.'
I have had the image above saved for awhile, never knowing exactly what to do with it. A teen mag parody by artist, get this, Hairy Bush, like most parody's there is more truth in it's depiction than most in the teen magazine industry might care to admit. Throughout the last few decades, prior to the Internet, entertainment magazines thrived. Teen magazines, supposedly for the consumption of teen girls, made teen idols out almost any young actor willing to take off his shirt. Actors who barely made a dent in the entertainment industry, or who were one hit wonders, were able to stretch their 15 minutes of fame by writing love columns and posing for pin-ups for Tiger Beat, Teen Beat, Pop, Bop, Superteen or the dozens of other monthly's that hit the stands.
During the late 80's and early 90's I devoured these magazines, barely reading a word, just flipping through page after page of shirtless hunks. I lusted after Richard Greico, Joey Lawerence, Justin Timberlake, Andrew Keegan, Ryan Phillippe and so many others. Thanks to e-bay, I also spent a fair amount of change buying older issues to get my fill of Christopher Atkins, Peter Barton and Michael Biehn. I was always fascinated by the celebrities like Leif Garrett who filled so many pages even though they weren't really that famous outside of the Tiger Beat universe.
What was also interesting, more so looking back, is the amount out of sexually provocative images that made the magazine's final edits. It was clear some of the image were aimed beyond the heads of the 13 year old curly haired girls, and shot for a broader... meaning older women and gay male audience. Some of the lip licking, nipple touching, unbuttoned pants and fingers looming just under the waist of their far too tight jeans would today, be considered inappropriate for their targeted audience. As the decades went by, the images tamed somewhat, but during the 60's, 70's 80's and 90's, some of the images were verging not so subtly, on the erotic side.
Great pose Esai....
A Bruce Bulge
Between his thumb in his belt loop, the quivering lips and the 'come hither' look, the late River Phoenix was a natural in front of the lens.
You have to wonder who suggested Menudo get shirtless and put paint all over their bodies for a shoot. Could it have been Ricky?
One Direction: Niall Horan tops Harry Styles
If you're in a boy band, you can bet some PR person is going to try to get you all shirtless and suggest you all get wet and frolic and wrestle in a pool.
New Kids On The Block
Yes, believe it or not, even the Osmonds got photographed shirtless and wet. I was surprised as you were (weren't you) to find the image above. The images below of Donny with Jay, and especially the one with brother Jimmy are beyond hilarious.
Donny with Jay & Jimmy
Leif Garrett always seemed prematurely sexualized no matter what pose he took on. It is hard to believe his management team didn't deliberately exploit that.
Bo's bulge (whether real (l) or fake (r) was often the focus of his pin-up poses. You have to wonder if John had to prepare or move his package during his shoots to ensure it was prominent and in focus...
Rex Smith and Rick Springfield
Rex Smith bulges in Leather and Rick Springfield just wants to cuddle.
Matthew and Patrick Labyorteaux
The Labyorteaux brothers had some of the most provocative, and odd, images to grace the inside pages. Some of the shots I found I wasn't comfortable even including. Although both are cute as a button, the sexualization of the young brothers (long before anyone heard of the Carlson's) was at times down right creepy. The speedo shot below somehow seems tamer than the crop top/jean image above...