Sunday, February 21, 2016
David Christopher: Self-Made Man
'I want people, or would like people, to be able to appreciate me and respect me and my work at the same time if possible. I want people to see me, all of me, and all I potentially have to offer in every situation...'
Most FH readers are aware how important I feel story is. My passion for art and photography is matched equally for love of writing and story and it has always been my goal to have the site more than just a series of photos. One of the main reasons parallels the quote above from model and actor David Christopher. It is important to me that no matter how incredible the images of body's and body parts may be, it not be forgotten the connection to the soul of the human who inhabits it.
So... every time I contact a photographer, a model or performer, I have questions. Questions about what stimulated their decision to model or act, what their first experiences were like and what drives their passion. Given FH's focus is the male form, questions about how they came to decide to bare their body is always fascinating to investigate. Although most subjects are generous with their time and responses, answers tend to remain surface. This is understandable, especially given the context, I understand for many it is important to only give away what is needed for any particular moment or event.
Every once in awhile though, there is a subject who goes deeper, peeling back additional layers and exposing more than just skin, but pieces of themselves beyond what a camera is capable of capturing. Last February, I was fortunate to connect and share stories from David Christopher. In the first piece, Uncovered Stories, David shared not just his thoughts and experiences with modeling, but also his struggles with addition and past experiences with abuse and incarceration. A year later, it seemed a good time to check in with David and see what twists and turns the story may have taken.
No matter how many times we are reminded that you can't judge a book by it's cover, we all continue to do so, each and every day. David's professional images, mostly capture moments of strength, strength of the body of course, but also of confidence and soul. In order to go beyond the surface, to look at ourselves in a deeper and meaningful way, one must have a sense of self. Self is not about what we know about ourselves, it is about the exploration of what we don't. They were created so that someone can see you, not necessarily for others to know you. Self is what is below the surface, selfies usually only capture what's above, for many these layers contradict each other. Selfies are a quick and simple way to share a visual, the intent not meant to really go beyond a quick snapshot of the surface.
David's selfies however tell a more nuanced story, not surprising given the person behind the lens knows their subject much more intimately. I find it interesting that David's goal to have people see all of him, and he skillfully found a way to do this through selfies. Through his use of mirror and reflection, although he shares his body, in many shots, he forces the viewer to pay a bit more attention, and take a few seconds longer, to get a good look. With that in mind, I hope FH readers take a bit of time to catch up to the next chapter in David's journey.
Did you have any regrets about sharing so much about yourself and your life in the first piece?
No regrets on my end, I feel that to not share with others would be more wrong, sharing is caring correct? I hope some people learned about me for the first time. I am pretty open and if anyone is interested in getting to know me further my Instagram (davidchrist14) and Facebook are both public as well.
Can you share what changes have occurred, either in your career or your life since the interview last February?
I obviously have grown some emotionally, mentally, and spiritually that kinda goes along with living in general for most, right? I can say that I feel its been in a mainly positive direction, I have started to grow my hair longer as well, so you can also say physically I've changed as well. This year I will also be starting my acting career.
When you're doing a nude selfie, who is it for? A body shot so photographers can see what you look like; yourself to mark progress with fitness or appearance; an admirer of your work who might enjoy the view, or maybe all of the above?
It is most often for me tracking my own body's growth and development but truthfully all of the above.
You seemed to encapsulate so much of your life, and so many experiences in your tattoos. Any new tats since last year, or any plans for others?
Yes I have plans for a few more in the future and I am still combing through a multiplicity of possibilities, that's the true beauty in art and design is it not... the symbolism and hidden meaning in things tied with personal interpretation.
You're moving into acting, also a visual medium. Actors often draw on past life experiences for a scene or a moment, are there stories that you're still in the process of uncovering?
I am truly excited. This is new and different outlet for me, its a change and experience that I will try to embrace understand and run with as long as possible, and so far so good. As for stories, yes, many more. I should be able to make myself a pretty multifaceted actor in the long run..
You had expressed frustration that many offers are from photographers only interested in getting you naked. What do you use to determine whether an artist wants to use your body and skill in the creation of art, or simply use your body?
I basically use my insight and judgement of character the best I can... I also ask other people from the industry what they think or know of the person in question, while still remembering opinions are like assholes, everyone has them and they all stink... lol
Curious about any strange thoughts that have gone through your mind as you posed naked for a photographer?
I've had a few strange ones... how long must have Greco Roman sculptors had to have there models pose nude for? That must have sucked! lol As well as why don't people just live everyday life in the nude... they could, theoretically. not in nudist colonies or what have you, but I mean in society... we all know what a dick looks like or female genitalia and butts and other body parts as well... why such a need for censorship? why the hysteria and controversy? just live and let live...
I am sure a true artist would look to capture the intensity of experience you bring to so many of your images, but... would also want to photograph your incredible butt. Is that something you accept and are ok with?
Yes, I have no problem sharing what I have gained through my life experience, to help others grow in a positive direction with me, you shouldn't get involved with me unless your trying to evolve. And I've never had issues sharing my butt... Even as a rebel in grade school I would moon teachers and lunch ladies... Lol