I first gave FH readers a sneak peak of Brett Gleason's Expiration Date back in 2015. In the piece, (HERE) I was showcasing an article Brett had written for The Huffington Post entitled, 'Does Love Fade as we Grow Older'. Song writers often write about the beginning of love and the ending of love, but not as many write about the death of love. The loss, beyond the initial break up to the deep pain and internal grief that lasts far beyond the breakup. Check out Brett's new video for Expiration Date below and more of the full album on itunes and on Brett's official site.
'Brett Gleason is my personal Rock Star. I have never had a friend that I loved so much be as different from myself as he is. We have been photographer & favorite muse since 2010 and best friends just as long. He is definitely a part of my extended Cessna muse family, dudes that I can just chill out with smoking blunts, talking shit and just being as in the present as possible. Without them I would be a very lonely guy ;)'
If you have followed my features on Brett, you know the work of artist Walt Cessna. Walt has been photographing Brett for years, and I have featured many of his images over the years. The last image, Brett laying on the pink is one of my favorite images, both erotic and beautifully dramatic. Sadly Walt died last week and I wanted to pay tribute to his work by featuring some of my favorite shots of Brett.. Walt always managed to capture more than what was in front of him, his lens went beneath the eyes staring back at him to a hidden piece of the subjects soul.
Last month, I loved featuring photographer Calder Van Gogh's incredible shots of the delicious Rush Firestone. (A Defender's Debriefing) Although Rush had not appeared on FH before, a piece of material he was holding...had made a previous appearance. I didn't notice it right away, but Calder informed me after I posted the story, that the checkered cloth Rush was holding, played a role in one of my previous posts featuring his work.
'I sleep in the nude but I pull the sheets up.'
If any of you clicked the link back to my piece featuring Calder's images of Julian, (The Backyard) you may have noticed that same grey checkered cloth draped in front of, and around Julian's alluring loins. I initially thought it looked a little like a piece of a tablecloth, one made specifically for picnics or a picnic table. Certainly both Rush and Julian would an appetising picnic spread, but I was off on where the checkered cloth had come from.
For many models, when posing totally nude, it can often be comforting to have something to focus or hold on to. (Besides the obvious...) Much like a security blanket, holding a prop or piece of fashion can make it easier to stand there. Sometimes the prop's use is to conceal the goods, other times it is not used to cover, but can provide balance, or just to give a splash of color to an image.
Almost all of the men Calder shot with the cloth were doing full nudes, but sometimes it's nice to build up to the full Monty with some tease and implied shots. Instead of having his models put their hands over their junk, the checkered cloth has now made it's way into many of Calder's shoots over the years, starting with Julian's backyard shoot. The material was actually a sheet, one that Calder had used when he worked for a few years doing professional massages. Calder tore up the sheet, but it was brought back to life in Julian's capable hands.
'It became a bit of a "running joke" ... it was soft and fuzzy and incredibly ugly! haha... so at group shoots, the other togs would give me a "what the F are you doing?" look. But it was just a random prop and also sorta' a way to cover the "important parts" on the guy.'
Whether accidental, or with thought and intent, the checkered sheet isn't the only prop or personal item that I have seen weaveded within photos of the male form. Some photographers like to make their mark by including important or personal items like books or knick knacks into shoots. Some artists like to ensure that a certain painting or art piece makes it way into the background of a shot. .
Some artists even use fun items ranging from stuffed animals to rubber duckies into their shoots with many different models. Often the prop has a purpose, other times, it is simply to help the model feel more comfortable during the process. Pets also make their way into shots, sometimes planned, but with cats...usually not
I love seeing how each of the models use the sheet, and incorporate it within their shoot. It also provides for interesting and unique visuals. Some models hold in front of them, others like Manzo, wrap it around them, and I love how Gaston, creatively ties it around his body. Rob initially uses the sheet to conceal, making the ultimate reveal, even that much more impressive.