I have been chronicling the work of model Joey Kirchner since 2008 on FH. Joey has always been a favorite, sexy, striking and dramatic. In arist Joe Lally's new video White Magic, Joey has never looked hotter, been more intoxicating, not to mention just a little bit disturbing. White Magic is Lally's fifth 'Soap Opera' episode and is a homage to underground film artist Kenneth Anger and an exploration of fascism and sexuality. Enjoy!
It is not accidental that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a meaningful film to Minneapolis artist and photographer Robert J. Guttke. Robert has been documenting the male physique through sculpture, sketch and film long enough to know that with great beauty comes change. Most models are captured at their prime and the peak of their physical condition. There is a secret, maybe even the magic, that many who work, both behind and in front of lens don't always initially grasp. Models, their body and face, are only theirs for a short period of time, and like Benjamin, will soon change and evolve to a place where the work they did, and the images that were captured, are more than just moments of time, but an affirmation of a time of desirability.
For some the looking back can come with sadness, but ultimately is the gift of a great image. Most of us have had moments where we have felt desired, but not many of us have it reinforced by the of the capturers of the comely. In the 14 or so years I have had access to the web, I have seen models come and go. What has remained however, is the memorable images, and the artists who create them. Preserving these moments, has been a key part of what has occupied Robert over the past year.
'A volume of my work is in the works. It will be an economical publication and contain a great deal of images never seen before anywhere. It is hoped this will be the first of many volumes since my shoots were prolific and my archives filled with sessions & locations that I do not even remember. The need to digitize all this film is essential.'
As you can imagine, it is a daunting task transferring decades of work and thousands of images from film to digital. Robert is currently looking to update his equipment, including purchasing a quality film scanner to immortalize the men and women he has photographed. If you would like to be a part of bringing Robert's unseen images to life, and to book form, head on over to ShadowLight and consider making a small donation to go towards the project. Any amount, even a few dollars will go a long way to ensure the work is not lost and will continue to inspire. I am hoping some of those scans and transfers make it here to share with the readers of FH!
'For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it'
The second I saw my first image of Zach Clemens from photographer Alain from studioAtruong, I felt the pulse. There was an energy and spark you could literally feel ignite and explode from the work. Alain, as he did with Joey, who I featured last fall and winter. Alain has the eye, and the skill, to beautifully capture the spark at the core of the subjects he shoots. Without a doubt he captured those unique qualities within Zach that make him so appealing and... so unique. The top quote above are Zach's words of support to my request t feature his images. Those words only cemented and mirrored the fun, adventure and erotic unpredictability Zach brings to his work.
'My goals are primarily financial. Gotta stack that paper and pile that cheese high. I figure I'll cast my image out there like a fisherman using bait. If I get any sponsors of my appearance, hooray! In terms of modelling, I'm down with whatever's groovy, and love to learn and experiment.'
When someone has a spark, that 'it' factor so often talked about, it can be difficult to define its core. With Zach however, there are several factor in play which make up why he so magical in front of Alain's camera. It begins of course with his look, part adorable frat boy mixed with just a helping dosage of Tumnus and maybe a dash of Marilyn Monroe. Great body, devilish grin and of course those incredible green eyes.
'What eyes! This is what EYES should look like, right? beautiful beyond words. I've been doodling eyes since I was a kid. Beautiful eyes have always fascinated me.... the kind that Elizabeth Taylor possessed and the kind of Zach possesses. As much as I love the naked male form, really, my interest lies more in their faces and eyes. Headshots are definitely my forte.'
So Alain throws in an Elizabeth Taylor reference, and I write Zach has a dash of Marilyn Monroe... These references are not about gender, they are all about that spark I keep coming back to. Taylor and Monroe both had qualities that made them rise above the rest to stand out and shine on screen. I find Zach's movement and poses quite unique to male modeling, with the image below specifically harking back to Monroe. Zach pulls it off beautifully, masculine, but with a bit of tease, erotically charged, and timeless just the aforementioned icons. Look for more of Alain's work with Zach next week on FH.
'I spotted lots of potential in young Zach. He looks stunning and he exudes such youthfulness and vitality. His emotions are real and they come through in the photos. Zach is very young yet very mature in that he's willing to learn and improve as a model. It's so easy to get lost in Zach's mesmerizing eyes. What I enjoyed the most was his boyish laughter and giggles whenever I teased him or when he was playing with my cat (who wanted to model, too). Zach exudes boyish sensuality and beauty in all of his photos.'
'The best location is where you are, and your best model is who you have.'
I first featured the work of North Carolina photographer Patrick Slater last autumn. (Visible Spectrum) In the piece I featured Patrick's work with Jon taken in around the Appalachians of North Carolina. Patrick had sent on three distinctly different shoots with three different models.
I titled the first post Visible Spectrum because despite the artists severe colorblindness, it is amazing the depth, detail and perspective Patrick captures, not just with models, but the locations in which he shoots them in. I loved the location in which he chose to place model Patrick Connors. I purposely chose not to ask Patrick exactly where in North Carolina the shoot took place. Whether a full barn or associated production or meat factory, it was the perfect local for showing the prime beef that is Patrick Connors.
'I shoot for light, the color takes care of itself.'
Unlike the US version, which was sort of dead on arrival, the UK's X-Factor continues to draw attention. Although they didn't win, last season, finalists Kingsland Road caused plenty of buzz for their singing, and their propensity to drop trou every chance they get. One Direction needs needs to watch their backs...and backsides.
The buys recently shot the cover, and incredible spread inside for the March edition of Gay Times. UK photographer Joe McCormick did a fantastic job of capturing both the personalities, and the bodies of each of the five band mates. I am a huge fan of Joe's work and was fortunate to profile his work with model Myles Leask for tMf #6
Above, Jay, Connor, Josh, Matt and Thompson
You can get yourself a copy of Joe's work in GT in print, or digitally HERE:
Songs have the ability to die. Not to physically become dead, but over-played to the point that the life, power and emotion they once were able to express is simply just sucked away.
American Idol is a song killer. Each season they take a perfectly good song, overuse it, and put it through such agony no one wants to hear it again. Even great belted out ballads like Whitney's version of I Will Always Love You and Celine's My Heart Will Go On, lost so much of their power after over playing on the radio, television and associated films soundtracks.
I Sara Bareilles, and her song Brave is a powerhouse that has brought goosebumps play after play. I am not sure who owns the rights to Brave, I am guessing (hoping) it is not Sara. Whoever they are, they are slowing killing a great song. The other night it seemed on a loop, playing at every commercial, once three times over one commercial break. Between the ads, public service announcements and the the Glee promos, the message of Brave has moved from be brave, to be a consumer, and buy this product. I hope Bareilles, or whomever is responsible for the rights of her music, slows down with all the sharing as the message is being muted.
I so want to like TNT's Dallas reboot but no matter how hard I try it continues to fall flat. My emotional connection to the original runs deep as in the late 80's it was the only television show, the only anything really, that brought my parents together in one room. I also love Josh Henderson, whose sexy walk, bad boy pout and sultry eyes mix together into a potent cocktail oozing delicious erotic energy.
Problem is, the creators have no clue how to tell a good story. They are all over the map with direction, character development and focus. Story and characters seem to change on a whim, episode to episode, hell, sometimes even scene to scene. One suggestion if anyone connected to the show happens to be listening... The original 13 year run on CBS gave you your show and give you your legacy, stop snubbing your nose at the reason most most fans tuned in to begin with! Instead of a Lucy wannabe (Emma), give us the Lucy. Instead of Katherine clone (Judith) bring back the actual queen bitch. All of those millions of viewers who tuned in on the first go round had taste and brains. They tuned out when the show went downhill and they're tuning off your show now. Give them a reason to keep returning to Southfork.
-pertaining to the most perfect embodiment of something
Photographer John Hough was on my list. The short list of artists whose work I really wanted to have a part of the blog. I have enjoyed John's images of the male form for some time and admired his blend of physique with fantasy and masculinity with beauty and artistry. John also has the skill and eye to so sharply capture every muscle and vein the men he photographs have worked so long and so hard to distend and have seen.
Checking John's name off my list proved a bit of a challenge, but one I am sure you will agree was well worth the effort. John has been shooting celebrities and models for more decades than I have been alive. He is keenly aware of the power, and the damage, that having one's art free flowing around the web can do. My first contact with John was back in 2012 but it wasn't until last December, after revisiting some of his new work decided to give it another kick at the can. John was never opposed to the idea, just concerned about what it would entail and that any model featured was supportive of being a part.
It all came together in part due to his work last fall with Stephen Michaels. I had previously featured Stephen on FH with his work with Carl Proctor and felt John's work with Stephen was some his best. Stephen is a powerhouse in front of the camera, and was a perfect match in providing balance with the massive space and feel of the working steel factory that surrounded him. There is a certainly an artistic beauty to the factory I loved, but also a coldness which required the right model and photographer to bring to life.
When I first thought of profiling John's work, I envisioned a 'story' which would explore the massive changes in the shooting of the male form over the few decades. John quickly taught me that although things surrounding the business may have changed, the work itself essentially has not. When you focus on the actual shoot, and relationship between model and artist, the core elements remain quintessentially the same as they always have. 'In the 70's there weren't that many photographers shooting male nudes. Also, a lot of work back then was very posed and stiff. I think photographers, myself included were happy just to be able to shoot nudes and we didn't give much thought about all the possibilities in posing.'
'With digital it is very easy to see your results instantly and by doing so, you can change lighting or anything else to make good shots. 5 minutes on any shot can make a big difference in quality. To me, taking the shot is only the beginning. It reminds me of when I shot film and then spent more time in the darkroom than the actual shoot. I spent many years working in pro photo labs as well as making my own color and black and white prints. Photoshop is a dream come true for me'
'When I worked with Tony Ward in the 80's, he was 18 and I'm sure outside of his family and friends, no one knew who he was. To me he was simply a great model to work with, he really loved his time in front of the camera.'
Although Tony Ward went on to become a 'name', John says a models popularity, or his list of credits, is really not a factor for wanting to work with him. 'A model has to have a great face, in most cases they will also have a great body.' One of John's greatest joys is to work with a new model and watch how they open up in front of the camera. 'They become an entirely new person and it gives me chills to see it happen. Then when the session is over, they are the person who I met several hours ago but now, they have confidence for the next time in front of the camera.'
In viewing John's images, especially in this series with Stephen, you can see how experience, not just in years, but maybe more importantly in hours, plays a part in creating images with deeper layers and greater depth. Hours and hours of shooting with different models and experimenting with different styles, themes and ways of posing, lighting and framing an image. John has not just shot Stephen within the steel factory, through the captures, they have both become a small part of it. John's images bring a feel for the roughness of the building, and the work done within, into his work with Stephen and together create images which reflect both the setting and the experience and skill of the model and artist within it.
'Stephen is a dream to work with. first of all, he is a very nice person, he has a great sense of humor and of course he is in great shape so no matter what pose he is in, he always looks great, no attitude and one of the best I have worked with over the years. The owner of the mill rents out the space for movie companies as well as photographers and the space is well over 50,000 sq feet. After shooting for 5 hours, I was wiped out, we shot in about 7 or so different locations in the mill and moving lights and equipment all over is tiring. The bottom line is if you have a model like Stephen, then anywhere you shoot works out.'