Friday, September 6, 2013

Eugene Antoine: At The Top Of The Stairs

My favorite images are able to trigger something inside me, produce and an aesthetic response and leave a lasting imprint. I especially love when what is triggered is something suppressed, a time or emotion that I hadn't thought of in a long time. When I saw the above photo of Eugene Antoine the sensation of déjà vu was both quick and powerful.

The image of Eugene, by Missouri photographer Connie LaFlam brought back memories of the many hours I spent at the top of the stairs in the home I grew up in. Not only is there a similarity with the wood and railings, the window, and sill are almost identical to what has been captured in memories. I spent a lot of time there, sometimes with my younger brother, but usually alone. When I was frightened or spooked, it helped to get out of bed and quietly crouch on the landing. From there, I was comforted by the light and noise from below. Usually it was my parents, in the living room watching tv, or in the kitchen, preparing for the day ahead.

My favorite times on those stairs were the weekends. It was then my brother was usually by my side. Growing up in the eighties, it seemed house parties were more common than today. My parents belonged to a card group, and usually once every six or eight weeks it would be their turn to host. On those nights, the noises below were of music and laugher and the voices of men and women, all who had consumed far too much alcohol.

Although there was a bathroom on the main floor, every once in awhile someone would decide to use the one upstairs. Either because the main floor one was occupied, or because for what ever reason, they wanted a bit more privacy than the one downstairs allowed. Whaen that occurred, a wave of excitement ran through my brother and I as we ran as fast, and as quietly, as we could back to our bedrooms.

What was so great about the view from top of the stairs was that it was limited to my imagination. You really couldn't actually see anything but stairs and few feet of the floor below. You could hear though, louder than if you had actually been downstairs. Voices, music, laughter and arguments echoed loudly straight up to the landing. As I listened, I visualized actions to match the words and noises I was hearing. It was always interesting when there was a voice, a person downstairs who I had not met. It was always a mystery trying to figure out who they were and what they looked like. Sometimes, I stayed up late enough to watch them leave through the window. Other times, exhaustion kept their identity a secret.

Images of Eugene above from Connie LaFlam

'We are all art in someone's eyes!'

Below: Eugene by JLEE

There is often a similar mystery s profiling models. The challenge is to uncover something about them, peeling back a layer beyond what is seen in their images. The model, staring wistfully out of the window, may have been totally naked, but that didn't mean there weren't interesting layers to be uncovered. 28 year old model Eugene Antoine has a confidence in who he is and what he has. He is also happy to share and have others enjoy it and Eugene admits to loving the attention.

'There is little wrong in being naked, unless you see it wrong being naked.'

Eugene takes pride in his body and appearance and recently got into crossfit and loves how it is shaping his body to be more lean and defined. Away from the camera, Eugene loves science, and you can see that reflected in his choice of tattoos, including the carbon atom on his arm. The most important things in his life revolve around his love of his wife and his pups. Eugene says both he and his wife are bi and describes them both as pseudo swingers.

I wonder if there were ever any bi couple swingers who partied with my parents at the bottom of that staircase? There was a time I would have been sure not, but like most things, my parents have proven to be one the one of the biggest mysteries to unravel. I have learned so much about them growing up, usually one little piece at a time. It is sort of too bad there are not as many house parties today. That perch at the top of the stairs began a deep curiosity within me that still follows me today.

Next two images from Haluro


Bobby F said...

Beautiful pictures that really use light and shadows to a great advantage. And, Tye, I love these rare moments when thru beautiful pictures, you are able to share with us a glimpse into your world and your past. Times like these are treasured.

Also, thank you, Tye, for featuring a completely smooth freeballer.

Anonymous said...