Friday, February 14, 2014

The Chair: Ben by Karl Royce

When I first encountered the work of London artist Karl Royce, it was not just because of one model, or one body, but because of the way in which each of the bodies Karl captured were positioned, posed and captured. The models in Karl's images appear unbounded, as if the limits of movement, space and gravity do not exist. Some of the men appeared in mid air, others grounded, but lightly so as if floating near, but planted on the ground.

Karl's background as a painter plays an important role as not only is space devoid of boundaries with his images, but color as well. Most of Karl's models are surrounded by just one color, often, but not necessarily black. The surrounding starkness adds a beautiful freedom to his work as well as flow of mobility the models utilize within the space.

Karl has been working to combine the medium of paint on canvas with his passion for photography by using models and images created to combine the two. His focus on movement and a models ability to create shapes with their bodies is central to his objective of utilizing the human body as an art form in the creation of thought provoking imagery.

'Ben is Romanian and for obvious reasons is a very popular model! He trains 3 times a day, has the most amazing hazel eyes. He is totally comfortable with his body and really happy to be directed to get the results that the photographer wants. Very professional in his approach and very easy to work with.'

Karl says when planning his shoot with 26 year old Ben, the concept in his head was simply model and a chair. The chair acts as a beautiful measure to both highlight and contrast Ben's muscular physique. Karl uses the chair as more than just a prop or a stage for his models pose. The weaving of object with body and skin is what gives the images their strength. The chair is there partly to support Ben but also to balance the experience of the viewer.

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