Monday, December 22, 2014
Stephan Tobias: Opening A Tiny Window
'Advent calendars also have been a childhood fascination. There is something theatrical in opening a tiny window with a day by day outlook into a fantasy scene everyday which is part of a bigger theatrical context.'
The term 'Advent' is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning coming. Beginning on the fourth Sunday before December 25, advent is about the waiting. In this case however, the waiting is about the excitement, the anticipation of what is to come. It is really Christmas foreplay. Most of us hate waiting, but the build up to certain moments in many cases can often be more enjoyable than the moment itself.
For many, the time between December 1st and December 25th is full of crazed busyness, decorating, shopping, work functions, parties, wrapping, baking and preparing. One of the ways that people mark this time, today especially children, is through an Advent Calendar. Each day, the days until Christmas get shorter and with the opening of each calendar window, a visual, and often chocolate, reward awaits. Artist and model Stephan Tobias's fascination with the yearly ritual is at the core of this series of visually stimulating images.
'My way of staging my pictures with those somewhat frozen poses seems to be going along with this quite well. The self indulgence of a sweet baby story is reflected here by my own narcissistic self indulgence. A bit of irony may add to the fun of this sweet season, even if in the end this exercise of mine is about creating beauty, too.'
Born in Berlin, Stephan was raised in Southern Germany and self trained as photographer and graphic artist. Stephan studied history, philosophy and law in Tübingen, Aix-en-Provence, Hamburg, Munich which led to his eventually practicing law in Berlin. For Stephan, photography, even in his childhood days, has been a way of playfully interacting with the world, in search of expression and a personal artistic view.
'The male nude over the last years has been the main focus of my work, and I keep adding to the experience, both as a model and as a photographer. By showing a nude body in an open space I intend to playfully examine the relationship between the subject and the object, between the individual and the world around it. Digital alterations sometimes become a way of extending that process and to re-focus on the subject. Ars lunga, vita brevis - I may be scratching in the wrong corner as I am attracting so many porn lovers, but I do intend to continue playing around in search of a meaningful expression.'
Stephan Tobias on flickr & on ModelMayhem