Saturday, April 2, 2011

Face Pressed To The Window: Robert Colgan Photography

When I profile the work of a photographer I admire I am always looking for the nexus. The connection between the the artist and the images. Recently I explored the connection between childhood experiences and adulthood (Carl Proctor) and just yesterday I was attempting to connect images with the weather (Shaun Simpson).

It should come as no surprise that when viewing the work of photographers located in Florida and California you are going to see more exterior shots, beaches, sand bright yellows and blues. When viewing the work of New York photographers you will see more studio shots. When they can get outside you see a lot of men on roof tops and balcony's. Some try to get to a beach, maybe on Fire Island during the short window of summer. My favorite photographers from the North West are able to shoot outside but they often avoid the beaches and head to abandoned buildings and Forrest's. Those shooting up in Canada and the mid west rely heavily on studio and hotel rooms to shoot and most of their natural light comes from windows.

Above: Abandoned House (Ajkessler)

Why am I writing all of this (I often wonder that myself). I write all this as lately I have found the more and more work I see the more I am able to guess the location of the photographer by not just location but by style, choices of lighting and most of all feel. Robert Colgan however ruined my guessing record. Obviously the models in Colgan's work are not stretched out on the sand. I saw nothing to indicate New York, LA or Canada. I chose Northern California or Washington. I chose those locations because I have detected a focus on lines, shapes and architecture in many of the artists I have profiled from the area.

I of course was wrong. Colgan lives and works in Columbus, Ohio. But... like some of my favorite artists (Mcclaren, Puff, Grantham & Zednerman who all work in or around San Francisco), Colgan's work is firmly rooted in architecture and design. The connection between man and environment a key theme. Urban, rural, structure, abandoned buildings are as important to Robert's work as the models who inhabit them.

'I was born in the Cleveland area, but lived for about 9 years in Louisiana. Most of my thoughts and imagery stem from those long weekend drives into the bayous and lost regions of the countryside that my parents forced us to endure. I remember driving past ruins of old antebellum homes, machines rusting beneath kudzu vines and bits of civilization slowly being reclaimed by nature. My face was always pressed to the window in awe. Strangely we were rarely allowed to stop and explore – we always had some unknown timetable that we had to adhere. Now, as an adult, I find those bits of humanity an interesting allure that demands documentation and incorporation into my work. Especially with the nude, it thematically suggests man as a symbol amidst history – unadorned, alone and finally able to seek himself.'
Robert Colgan

Next two shots: Matt Gravely.

'I guess that I was doing urban exploration long before it was fashionable, but what I felt during those trips has lodged permanently in the recesses of my memory and has slowly worked its way into my art. I still have trouble describing the words that make me return again and again to these locations – the need to place a figure, alone, in these lonely abandonment's. To me it seems necessary. To me it seems like a metaphor of my own self.'
The quote above is a part of From where inspiration arose… from Roberts Blog. The feature gives much greater detail on where Robert's inspiration comes from.

Besides his blog, check out more of Roberts incredible work on his Website HERE: & on Model Mayhem HERE:

Last two shots: Wes Ykema

Anthony Muncy by Robert Colgan

The original premise for showcasing the work of Robert Colgan was the post above. As stated what struck me most about Robert's work was his use of architecture and design blending man with environment. Going through his port however I so loved his work with 27 year old Anthony Muncy from Ohio. Anthony's work with Robert so beautifully illustrates so many of the things I mentioned in the previous post.

Anthony is a near perfect collaborator for Robert. He is able to blend into his setting and at the same time shine without detracting from them. He seems to know what Robert is going for and it comes through his facial expressions and beautiful eyes.

Anthony Muncy on ModelMayhem:

Anthony Muncy

Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 147 lbs
Waist: 29"
Shoe: 11.5
Hair color: Brown
Hair length: Short
Eye color: Hazel
Skin color: White

Favorite Pic of the Day for April 2nd

Above: Artful Dodger by Shaun Simpson.
-Check out more below-

Happy Birthday today April 2nd to:

Happy Birthday to actor Christopher Meloni who turns 50 today.

Got to love the OZ caps! Chris below with Brian Bloom.

Check out other birthday boys for April 2nd, Francisco Froes, Jeremy Bloom, Salim Kechiouche, Adam Rodriguez & Kevin Bernhardt HERE: