'Fire’s the sun, unwinding itself out from the wood.'
Double entendre aside, wood has come up several times during the course of my time on FH. Spending time with art, and thinking about how best to write about it, has led to my making many odd connections between what I see, and my relationship to it. I remember writing about Ken Haak's work a couple of summers ago. (Woody)
With Ken's images, I was instantly reminded of summer wood. Incredibly dry pieces of wood on the beach, old splintering porch chairs and rough wooden docks and warfs, all in need of replacement, paint and care. This wood was rough, and not something meant to rum and come up against naked skin. Yet, because it was summer, soft skin and rough wood often collided.
I made a similar connection when choosing my favorite images from Bengie's barn location. In this case, the wood in question isn't from a hot, dry New England beach town, but instead from a barn in Cheshire in North West England. This wood reminds me of Autumn. Although I grew up in a big city, I now live in the country and every fall, I am always called to help out my friends after they get their winter delivery of wood. It is dumped in a pile, but requires moving, sorting and piling.
Whenever I spend time with the Male Beauty by bengie, I see incredibly hot men. Bengie rarely gives his models much to cover or distract, but he does ensure they have a purpose.... a balancing point. The first time I featured Bengie's work, (HERE:) that balancing point was flannel, red Santa Flannel. In the second piece, (HERE:) it was a beautiful pair of French doors.
In this series of images, the balancing point is wood. The barn, it's main door and all of the wood within and around the structure. Although set around, and balanced by that wood, Bengie's models are, for the most part, not hindered or protected by it, they are completely exposed. Beyond just being naked, they are provocatively naked. The male beauty Bengie captures are meant to provoke and stimulate a reaction from the viewer. You can see it in the poses and especially in their eyes.
Bengie's models don't play games, the are straight shooters who are aware of the viewer, and the viewer's desire and ultimate goal. Some photographers work at luring in viewers, slowly unveiling a story. Other photographers get right to the climax of the story, not forcing the viewer to wait to reveal what awaits them on the last page, the final chapter. Bengie's models don't necessarily want you lost in a story, they want you lost in them See more last chapters, and much more wood, on Bengie's site HERE: