Friday, February 26, 2016

Strange Movements: Gabriel by NICKET

'Come on, be one of us.'
David, The Lost Boys

In my last piece featuring the work of California based photographer NICKET, I discussed the artists skill at so beautifully capturing the interaction between the models he shoots with their surroundings and location. I am not sure there could be a better example to continue this theme than Nicholas' images of model and dancer Gabriel Mata.

With a model as stunning as Gabriel, Nicholas really could have shot him anywhere, as you can see from these images, Gabriel creates beautiful lines with his body and incredible moments of movement in every shot, no matter the pose or set up. The professionally trained dancer is using his skill with movement and pulling together his technical training, personal style, and experiences into a San Francisco project based company to highlight both his dance and choreography background.

When choosing images for this piece, I kept coming back to images in which Nicholas kept part of Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in the background. The Lost Boys was one of my favorite movies as a kid, the lyrics from it's theme song kept going through my head.

Although the song's lyrics might be 'People are strange', there song and movie were rooted in the theme that the strange come together, creating a sense of community and togetherness in one place. In the movie, the center of that place was the Boardwalk in the fictional town of Santa Clara. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, where this shoot took place, was the actual filming location.

Although I am sure Nicholas may have intended it, I felt this theme with his images of Gabriel. In all of the shots, Gabriel is alone, with the rides, colors and action of the carnival, across the water in the distance. There is a feeling that Gabriel is alone, beating his own drum and doing his own dance. I also felt that in the end, when he's ready, Gabriel will make it out of the woods, across the bay, and eventually end up where everyone else has gathered.

'It was a pleasure to work with someone who is so professional and has a real commitment to his work.'

Gabriel's dance means a lot of travel, and Nicholas describes him currently living the life of a nomad, traveling for different performances and rehearsals. On the plus side, it did mean they were able to connect, and get together for a shoot. This geographical movement, beautifully parallels Gabriel's physical movements, and in addition, provides a great range of locations for the dancers movements to be captured in.

'Working with Gabriel was a great experience. As you can tell from the photos he is a trained dancer specializing in modern dance and this is a great help with his modeling. Gabriel has posing down very well but I am able to get a wider range of unique shots by having him go through a dance routine.'

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