Saturday, July 5, 2014

Not To Be Tried At Home: The Artistry Of Diego Serna

Some of you might have noticed that one of my favorite themes to explore on FH has been Circus. The combining of passions usually leads to a deeper or meaningful connections to the images I feature. I first described my love of circus in a post I wrote for a circus day theme back in 2012. Since then, I have taken every opportunity to feature many modern artists from the circus including acrobats, jugglers, clowns, the German Wheel and my favorite, aerial acts including trapeze, ropes and aerial silk performers.

Image above from Trent Chau

Combing the photographing of the male form with the artistry aerial performers is a perfect fit. As with dancers, aerial performers are able to create extraordinary lines with their bodies, beautiful shapes and poses which create dynamic imagery. Some recent examples include my features Austin Tacious, Ryan Scott's images in Hung and Mark Gratham's images of Apollo Bird in With The Greatest Of Ease. When I recently spotted an image of the exquisite Diego Serna, posed so beautifully, naked, high in the air, his body wrapped around the ropes of the trapeze, I knew instantly I wanted to feature and share his work.

Image Above from Tim Cofield, make-up by Stephanie Anderson

Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Diego now lives and performs primarily in Atlanta An aerialist, actor and dancer, Diego loves the visual arts and especially creating new and interesting works through photography and movement using his skills, body and immense talents. Diego reports his passion for performing began at an early age and at 12 was granted the opportunity to become a member of Young Voices United.

Remaining Images from Jason Meek

Over the next seven years, Diego received theatrical training from Nic Starr (Young Voices United) and Nikki Toombs (Toombstone Productions). Through these experiences he earned various roles such as Chicago in “Is he Dead?”, Lumiere in “Beauty and the Beast”, and Mr. Lindner in both Young Voices United and Nikki Toombs’ rendition of “A Raisin in the Sun”. His talents also earned him the role of Genie in “Las Mil y una Noches” with Latin theatrical company, Teatro Interludio.

At eighteen, Diego says he experienced a sudden, but passionate, interest for aerial arts. With no knowledge on how to get started, he purchased a silk and began learning from videos off of YouTube. (not to be tried at home!) Diego analyzed every move and practiced them in his backyard. After a little less than a year of training, the new and determined aerialist received the honor of performing an aerial opening act for Mexican comedian Adrian Uribe while in Atlanta. This motivated Diego to work even harder and search for professional training.

In 2012, Diego began training at Sky Gym, an aerial and cirque arts studio. His hard work and talent earned him a spot with specialty performance troop Liquid Sky that same year. Upon acceptance into the group, Diego began training in other apparatuses such as lyra, trapeze, fire, and stilts. His talent on stilts landed him the role of the Watcher on a theatrical piece entitled Crossroads. Crossroads is a one of a kind theatrical experience that combines theater and cirque arts created by Rain Anya from Paperdoll Militia.

When deciding he needed great aerial images for his portfolio, Diego did his research in order to find just the right photographers. He needed skilled artists with the experience and talent to capture his aerial skills and movements high in the air. Diego had a concept thought up and planned to shoot with Jason Meek, but while looking up for inspiration for that shoot, came across Mark Grantham's work. Diego loved his images, got in contact and they shot (see post below) prior to the creation of these incredible images he shot with Jason.

'My shoot with Jason was a 21st birthday present to myself. I had a very rough year and this was symbolic to me shedding all that away and coming into a "new skin". Starting fresh!'

*All costumes and headpieces were designed by Diego, made by Diego along with his mother, Mercedes Uribe

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