Monday, October 28, 2013

Erocktography: Heartless

'Where there is no imagination there is no horror.'
— Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

'It all started very randomly a few years ago, I had a few drinks and covered myself in Walmart blood and took a bunch of pics with my handheld camera.'

I tend to believe that most of the terrors and fears that follow us into adulthood can be tracked back to our childhood. Moments of fear we experienced so powerfully that they left an imprint on our brain that gives us a little shake every time an emotional trigger is visualized or experienced.

Following this train of thought then, means so does ones imagination. The ability to dream vividly, partake in imaginary play allow us as adults to expand our visual boundaries to bring life, or in some cases death, to situation's, inanimate objects and experiences. To those without this ability, Halloween is simply costumes, pumpkins, mini bars and caramels. However with the ability to tap into the terrors of our youth, along of course with the play, Halloween is so much more.

Sadly, tapping into the macabre isn't always something others understand or respect. Even with the art community, there can be boundaries put up around what is supposed to be a boundary free field of passion and expression. On ModelMayhem for example, peel every stitch of clothing off a model, (especially a female model) and the work is welcomed and cheered. Start peeling away their skin however, to expose nerves, organs and guts, and limits may be imposed....except of course during the dwindling days of October.

During Halloween week, these images are however celebrated, at least on banners. E, of Erocktography says that usually he can't usually use any of his blood and gore/crazier stuff to bring people in on MM, but since they do the horror banners this time of year, he figures they aren't going to say anything to him about using the darkness of the day within his work. E has always had an interest in masks/horror/weirdness, since he was a little kid. One of the reasons E has a focus on this kind of material is that it is also so much more fun to shoot than conventional photography. 'It's easier to stand out in this area than be lost in the sea of brilliant glamour photogs'. Living in the bible belt it can be a struggle at times to find models and collaborators and as well, to have his work seen.

Oh dear...

'I do anything really, but it is the Dark, Horror, Campy and Crazy that really gets my ticker ticking.'

Killer Tranny Clown

It is the blend of dark and crazy, along with a dash of campy, (and duh.. his incredible body) that drew me to E's work. Some of the images are initially quite terrifying, even a tad disgusting but looking a little closer, and reading E's image description takes the edge off a little and gives the viewer a peak at the artists motivation, intelligence and most of all humour. The humour however appears slanted more in the direction of the satirical more than funny as though I laughed at some of the descriptions, they also added an additional layer of horror, the layer of reality...

Manbaby Babyman!

After posting those original Walmart blood inspired shots, back when Myspace was a big deal, E found himself receiving a large and positive response to the images. He ultimately discovered Model Mayhem and began to find more people to work with. Most are a few hours away as according to E, the area in which he lives is pretty much a wasteland for it. Although he often travels to Nashville and California to find models to shoot, E says that for whatever reason, it is the images of himself that have drawn in more traffic and gotten more views and comments.

Mail order bride shipping department.

'Maybe it's because I best know how to convey what I want to show.. but a lot of the times those shots came out of boredom and me not having a model to work with. I have a list of ideas as long as my arm that I want to do with others and eventually hope to do most of them. Most are crazy/twisted/outright horrific things. I'm a pretty goofy guy so there is a lot of silly in what I do.'

And how did YOU think they made it?

I think E has pretty much nailed it, his self shots do contain a purity and essence of what ever expression, emotion or depiction of horror he is going for. That, mixed with the silly that not all models could as easily blend into the work as beautifully. E is also incredibly good looking and photographs well himself, we all know far too well from horror movies, monsters tend to gut, impale, bludgeon and decapitate the good looking people first...

Exhausted by the economy

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