Sunday, November 28, 2010

Favorite Pic of the Day for November 28th

Love this shot of Michael by Scott Barnes. Check out more of Scott's work below!

Gods In Spirit: Scott Barnes Photography

'Gods in Spirit' is a bit of a dramatic title I know, but... when I choose a photographer to profile it is important to me to find that theme, that essence which not only distinguishes their work, but also speaks to what drew me to the work in the first place.

Indianapolis based photographer Scott Barnes says that to him, a good photograph captures spirit and movement, whether it's of a person, a building, or a cornfield. 'It's more than a "picture of something," but a moment in life.'

Some of spirits that is woven into Scott's work are the spirits of Apollo, Eros and Poseidon. Thousands of years ago the Greeks were carving nude statues in honor their heroes. The Greeks did not identify heroes only as winners but many statues were also shown to depict defeat. In both cases however the men, usually in marble were shown as heroic with nakedness used to represent a state of purity and honesty.

'The Greeks could think of no higher tribute to their gods than to imitate them--to become as godlike as possible, both mentally and physically. It was the whole person that mattered: the well-developed mind in the well-developed body. Apollo, the god of athletics, was also the god of music. In fact, the athletes trained to music. The gymnasiums were where philosophers like Socrates hung about. Almost every major school of Greek philosophy was headquartered in a gymnasium.... As Greek religion declined and was replaced by philosophy, Socrates often advocated nudity as a form of honesty. It is clear from this that the ancient Greeks sought balance--their goal of The Golden Mean in individual accomplishments as well as in matters of state.'
Aileen Goodson
From her book: Therapy, Nudity & Joy

“Artists, like the Greek gods, are only revealed to one another.”
Oscar Wilde

Certainly nudity, male nudity especially is no longer honored in the same way. I have written before that in North American, the US in particular many would rather see a live decapitation, rape or murder on television rather than a breast or penis. The outcry over Janet Jackson at the Superbowl demonstrates this. It still shocks me that there is little to no outcry on the stream of violence that is shoved down the throats of people, children in particular, night after night on network television.

Thankfully artists like Scott Barnes, and many others, are trying to buck this trend by showing the male form in a beautiful, honest and non pornographic way. It is sad that many seem to continue to struggle to see that nudity does not equal pornography. It is this struggle, or a form of it, which is at the heart of so many of today's political debates. Don't Ask Don't Tell for example is about human rights but most who oppose it seem not to be able to see as anything beyond sex, same philosophy.

The spirit of Gods is certainly present in Scott's work with Mel, the model showcased in this post. Scott has a philosophy when working, 'If I'm photographing you, I think you're beautiful.' Sounds rather simple yet at the same time it was pretty powerful to me. If the person behinds the lens sees the beauty in front of them the results are bound to reflect that.

I chose Mel to showcase Scott's work because there is something about him, his stance, his body that Scott says is perfect for recreating classical statuary. It is hard to believe that this was Mel's first professional photo shoot. 'He was sent to me by another model, who knows him from the gym.' Even though it was his first time, even though a bit nervous Mel, though the lens of Scott Barnes, transforms into a God, even if just in spirit.

Check out more 'Gods' as well as a few mortals at Scott's official site HERE: or on MM HERE:

INKED -Part 2- by Hans Fahrmeyer

-Sunday With Hans-
-Inked: Part 2-

"A man without tattoos is invisible to the Gods."

Last Sunday I posted Part 1 of photographer Hans Fahrmeyer's INKED series. (check out that post HERE:) Here is the second part of the series. Thanks again Hans for sharing your work with FH!

Hans Fahrmeyer Official Site:
Hans Fahrmeyer on FH: