'Reaching for the cigarette. The delicate long, thin shaft, or the thicker, nuttier cigar. Security of familiarity, anticipation of kindling, spark of ignition. Holding the open box close to my pelvis. Hands clutched to my body, my crotch. The cig in my mouth.'
When I first quit smoking, the hardest thing to break, after the cravings... were the comforting patterns surrounding my smoking. Joining my co-workers outside for a smoke, and some company. Sitting on the front porch having a last cigarette before bed and the friends who used to drop by just to have a 'smoke'. Getting beyond the addition was easier in some ways than losing some of those comforting patters. I miss the gossip and bonding that used to happen outside at work. I rarely sit on the porch at night any longer and those friends, the one's that still smoke anyway, don't just drop in for 15 minutes and a cigarette any longer...
'Something to Hold On To is a broader series that explores the ways in which we physically cling to ourselves and others in order to recall memories, experience new pleasures, and heal from traumatic events. Through safe exploration and fantasy, we can create a personal sense of freedom, desire, and sexuality and take ownership of our own beauty, libido, and power.'
We all things to hold on to, to cling to, to depend on. What he choose to hold on to, whether physical, like a cigarette, or emotional, like a memory or experience, offer support and help us to cope with all that life throws at us. Some of the things we grab on to are positive and healthy, others can be risky or painfully destructive. One of the things we most want to hold on to, crave to hold on to and need to hold on to is a body. A human, breathing, sexual body that can provide warmth, comfort and safety and satisfy our carnal desires. Whether the body of someone we love or lust, our own body, or an unfamiliar body that happens to be within reach, the desire to hold is often too powerful to resist.
In his second shoot with artist Max Woltman, 21 year Alex Karr wanted to explore something more dark and sexual. Being an actor himself, Max understood Alex's need to explore a part of himself that may be on the surface, or something others notice at first. With minimal direction, Max encouraged Alex to play against type, to look for his own ways of expressing and making new discoveries.
'I thought about the tension between not only light and dark, but different colors and their emotional significance. Passionate red combined with a nauseating green. Perhaps a reference to a first cigarette or an early sexual encounter. The blue coldness of cement and leather combined with a warm orange glow. Like a flame. Classic allusions to strippers, tattoo parlors, and leather scenes, but also a need to go beyond bland stereotypes. I think it is important to nurture our vulnerable, sometimes awkward, and very personal human attempt to hold on to something that is dear to us.'