Robert J. Guttke
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Sunday, May 26, 2013
There are only a small group of women who usually get mentioned when the funniest females from Saturday Night Live are discussed. One woman who always makes my list is Siobhan Fallon (Hogan). Siobhan was only on the show for about a year, but her career since has been a long string of memorable roles.
SNL, Sorority Girls Sketch (1991)
On television, Siobhan had roles on such shows as Third Watch, Rescue Me, The Golden Girls and Fred: The Show. I especially loved on Seinfeld in her role as Elaine's roommate Tina, who I really needed much more air time! Although a stand out on television, it was in movies where the actress really got a chance to shine.
Greedy (with Phil Hartman, 1994)
Forrest Gump, Greedy, Jury Duty, Striptease, Men In Black, Dogville, We Need To Talk About Kevin and Baby Mama are but a small portion of Siobhan's credits. I think my favorite role of Siobhan's was Blanche, Renée Zellweger's cheery secretary in the underrated 2009 comedy New In Town. The movie is not great, but I love the characters and the town and the world in which the movie is set. Renée Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr are fine, but Siobhan steals the show in every hilarious scene she is in.
Baby Mama (2008)
New In Town (2009)
When checking my blogger stats, I always know that when my 2012 Blast From The Past feature with actor Martin Hewitt comes up near the top, that Endless Love was playing on some television channel somewhere. The movie was quite memorable, but not so much due to story or acting. Martin was certainly memorable, but I think the most famous part of the movie was the theme song sung by Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross.
Not sure if the song will be part of the re-make, but for some reason Universal pictures has decided the flick needs revisiting. Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde are taking on the main roles in a film due in theatres next Valentines day. Although Pettyfer didn't get the best press for Magic Mike, he did stand out in a few movies (Beastly, I Am Number Four) which were mostly, except for his performance, were quite forgettable.
Endless Love was actually an interest story, with a decent foundation, and all the ingredients to make a great romantic tragedy. Will be interesting to see what can be done with the material in the hands of capable actors and a good director.
Pettyfer in Magic Mike
Martin Hewitt in Endless Love (1981)
'These images are like the human figure shedding dried leather leaves-the leather being more interesting than just a drape of cloth cascading from the form.'
One of the many cliches associated with gay men, is a love of leather. Leather is a material that not all men, not all bodies, can truly pull off. I have never worn leather myself, but when I see it worn well, it has the ability to sexually catapult the mind to wild and wonderful places. In many respects, leather has an almost retro feel. Although still popular, it harks back to a specific time and part of ones life. Blue Magazine, Australia's gay lifestyle magazine, also has a sort of retro feel. Featuring top photographers from around the world, Blue launched in February 1995 under the name (not only) Blue, later changing simply to Blue. Since 2007, the magazine has styled itself as Blue+. I could not find anything recent about the magazine which seems to have folded awhile ago.
In this 2003 Blue Magazine profile, one of my favorite artists, Robert J Guttke, uses the leather, and the leather cliche as a metaphor within the theme. The images touch on not only the material's overuse in gay culture, but also speaks to it's decline in popularity. In these images, leather drops from the body like dead leaves, a shedding of skin, a getting rid of the old and worn creating almost a rebirth or sorts.
Blue Magazine#46 (2003)
Blue Magazine#46 (2003)
When Robert John Guttke was growing up in a prefab community outside Chicago, he didn’t just live in a fantasy world-he actively constructed it. Using clay, stiff card, tape and scissors, the nascent aesthetic would design and build his own mythic realms, peopling them with a variety of heroic figures, ideally represented. Arguably this was a necessity, according to Guttke, brand-new Carpentersville consisted of nothing but ‘a highway and a shopping center.’
Studying sculpture at Rockford College, two hours west of the Windy City, he was discouraged by most of his lecturers from rendering the human figure, perceived to be an outdated subject. In an environment of post-modern pastiche and clever clogs conceptualism, such a classical approach to art must have seen passé. But for Guttke, it was something to be proud of.
Now, many years later, he has left the modeling clay behind in favour of that most modern of instruments, the camera, to sculpt with light. And in place of fantasy figures that wouldn’t look out of place in an Ursula Le Guin novel, we have a living, breathing subjects. Yet the form remains heroic and idealized.
In this series, a strut of mesomorphic models adorned with leather-chaps, caps, capes et al-cavort and pose in dishabille for his lens. Each picture is comprised of four images set side by side in a manner reminiscent of a peepshow gallery. Carefully selected and arranged, the juxtaposed nudes enhance each other. Viewed as a ‘four-in-hand’, a tantalizing narrative of repetition and permutation emerges. But while erotic overtones are undeniable, the photographer is keen to stress it’s not a striptease.
“To me, these images are like the human figure shedding dried leather leaves-the leather being more interesting than just a drape of cloth cascading from the form,” says Guttke who now resides in Minneapolis. “(It’s) a ballet of movement which starts with a cocoon of leather that eventually peels away, and in doing so creates serendipitous abstract shapes that enhance the body.
Being concerned mostly with nudes, Guttke is used to misunderstandings about his work. People inquire as to whether his models are straight or gay- ‘as if it matters. You might as well ask what their religious and political backgrounds happen to be.”
Apparently they also assume he’s a dirty old man getting his thrills behind the lens. “I think of myself as a latent Victorian”, he says. When all the components before me fall into perfect order, I don’t snicker. Actually, my jaw drops in awe, being witness to something beautiful that I am lucky to capture with my camera.”
He hopes others share in his aesthetic appreciation. But experience has also led him to believe that once the picture is out there, hungry eyes want to do with it what they will. “One cannot control the reaction of the audience.” So for those who wonder as to the difference between his images and those found in plastic-wrapped titles, Guttke is impressively succinct. “Lighting and intent.”
Jaw dropping perfection of pants-dropping petits fours. You be the judge!
To start, please forgive me for the more than obvious post title, it was either that or Yoke's on you... Secondly, I must admit that this post is sort of a mix mash of several topics I had stashed in my idea folder. Sadly, none of them came together with enough images to create a full post, but combining them together... well, I'll let you be the judge.
There is a ton of erotic imagery featuring the male form with Cowboy themes and beautiful men with horses. Last year, I found the image below and thought I might do a piece featuring men with animals from the farm accompanied by the lyrics to Old MacDonald Had A Farm. Lame I know, but an idea folder has to have some lame ideas in order for the good ones to stand out. Eventually I decided I could not find enough good imagery of men with barnyard animals (at least not ones fitting the theme...) so dropped the idea.
The idea then morphed into a farmer/in the barn theme when a few months ago, I found an incredible set of images of a model I loved whose images were perfect for the post. Sadly, and frankly rudely, neither the photographer or the model responded to my e-mails, not even to let me know they had no interest. I held on for a few more months, and tried one follow-up, but then that idea, without photographer approval, needed to be scratched as well.
Last week however, when talking to Robert Guttke about a post, he mentioned he was off to shoot a subject who wanted to be photographed with their pet chickens. My head began to spin with what an amazing, fun and of course horrible job that might turn out to me. At the same time however, I was fascinated and the theme of men and their birds (fowl, that is) and the post theme was again hatched.
I knew Robert had a bit of experience having seen his images of Benjamin Godfre holding a rubber duckie, but a real chicken would have a whole new set of challenges. In the end, a difficult to pose chicken, didn't turn out to be any more of a challenge than many of the other models Robert had shot. With the absence of ego, the chicken actually ended up fairly easy going and Robert was able to get some great shots without ruffling too many feathers.
So there you have it, the trajectory of a typical FH post. What began as one idea, changed a few times before actually making it onto the blog. This post proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that in this particular case, what clearly came first, was indeed the chicken!
Down On The Farm:
A few more images that I saved for the themeThe Naked Farmers Calendar.