Sunday, January 24, 2016
Naked Theology: DirtRoad by Noplacia Photography
'Adam answered, I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked: so I hid. And the Lord said Who told you that you were naked?'
It was back in 2013 that I first discovered the work of DirtRoad, and have been closely following model Warren Russell's work every since. One of the things I love best about Warren's work is how beautifully welcoming he is of being naked. Some male models are comfortable being nude, and enjoy the financial benefits of posing naked for photographers, artists or a classroom full of aspiring artists. Some accept that being naked is a part of the job and choose to grin, or grimace, and then bare it.
With Warren, the baring seems to come first, then followed by the grin. If you have been following my features of Warren's imagery, being naked isn't simply a part of his modeling and photography, it is a core part of how he lives and see's the world. Since last featuring Warren's imagery last winter, he has added quite a few new images to his tumblr, along with his thoughts on nudity, the bible and shame.
I have written many times before, that a model's comfortability with being naked often has an affect on the way I view an image. Although a model's nervousness can be captured in a sexy and erotic way, for me, only if that is the intent of the artist and photographer. I have seen too many images that the photographer is pushing as 'hot' where the model looks absolutely miserable. Just because someone is good looking and naked, doesn't always necessitate the images will be sexy, nor will be enjoyable to the viewer.
Warren's positive attitude and exhibitionism create an engaging and open feeling, allowing the viewer to enjoy his work, his body, without guilt or shame. This really is in many ways, the essence and the point of art which features the human body. Taking away the layers should be freeing, not limiting, and there are beautifully few limits in Warren's work.
Warren's positive energy was certainly something both noticed and appreciated by photographer Gary Larson from Noplacia Photography. 'Warren has a beaming smile. He radiates positivity, is patient with the photo shoot process, and is always very interesting in conversation.' I have been lucky to have been able to feature several of Gary's shoots with Warren, including some which helped celebrate last summer as well as this past Halloween.
Sadly, this is Gary's last call shoot with Warren, at least for the time being. The images showcased here are from their final shoot together last Autumn, prior to Gary moving a couple of States away from Washington State where he had been living. This time, the axe was left out of the shots, and Gary's goal was to focus on Warren engaging with the camera, creating a more intimate connection between Warren and those on the other side of the camera. Hopefully if Gary gets back to Washington we might get another encore, but for now we get to enjoy this set from last October. Thanks to Warren for again supporting my featuring his work and to Gary, who edited and sent the images on once he was settled in his new home.