Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Live The Life: California by Tom Silk

I'm goin'ta California
gonna live the life
sipping on tequila night after night
dreaming of the moment when everything looks right
a little bit of love goes a long way tonight

Prior to being saddled down with a full time job I traveled extensively. Not always great distances, but always on the road. Most of my destinations were on the East Coast, many, but not all, could be reached in a car. Maine down to Florida and provinces from Ontario over to Newfoundland in Canada. The lure of west however, particularly California, has remained a dream, a persistent aspiration that nudges me from time to time.

California is one of the most documented, photographed, written about and discussed places in the world. It also manages however, to remain one of the most elusive. Hollywood has provided an extensive history, but in some ways, that has more muddled than cleared up the mystery. I think one of the reasons is that California is not just a place, but a spiritual bedrock. The junction that links the dreamer to the dream. No mater where in the world you live, California is one of those places, we believe can literally or metaphorically be the gate-way to our destiny. That is a lot to live up to....and one of the reasons California is not a just a dream maker but a heart breaker.

When I think of the work of California photographer Tom Silk, I cannot help but connect with artist with the magical, yet elusive nature of the location. I have wanted to feature Tom's work several times over the years, but it wasn't until last month that things beautifully came together. Tom shoots incredible young men or course, many of whom arrive in the California, often for the first time, as part of a journey toward their own dreams. Tom not only captures faces and bodies, but also their souls. Maybe primarily known for artistic body shots, Silk is also a masterful portraiture. I love Tom's portraits, and in his captures you can't help but feel the dreams and passions within the eyes of his subjects.

Tom believes it is the flaws, not the perfections, that define beauty. (a quote he borrowed model, Ricky Riot.) You can see this philosophy synthesized within Tom's images as well in the choice of models he chooses to shoot. You can also see, in addition to his subjects soul, a bit of the artists within the work. Living and working in California, Tom Silk is also positioned to assist new and inexperienced models in moving closer towards their goals. It is also not a coincidence that in addition to the faces and bodies he captures, Silk weaves so much of the California landscape within his work.

Tom shoots to a large extent in studio, incorporating aspects of his models personality within the work. He also however, routinely takes his subjects outside, often to explore and experience some of California's most iconic locations. From some of the States endless beaches to one of Tom's favorite places to shoot, California's Joshua Tree National Park. In some way, Joshua Tree's rich history, along with it's open spaces, deserts, foliage and rock formations is both the perfect fit and setting, and as well, the perfect symbol to the goals and dreams his images represent.

20 year old Sean was first featured on FH last fall. Soon after, he traveled West as part of his own dream fulfillment. I love that Tom not only captured the fresh and youthful sides to Sean's personality, but also the maturity and determination to reach his goals. I will be sharing Tom's studio with Sean next week, but wanted to start with their location work, as well as a few unedited and fun, behind the scenes shots of Sean getting ready for his close-ups.

Behind The Scenes:

1 comment:

BradLy said...

Sean has the most delicious lips and body and that smile oh my