I loved actor and singer Norm Lewis even before I knew his name or what he looked like. Back in 1997 over just 91 performances, Sideshow ran it's short run on stage at the Richard Rogers Theatre on Broadway. I was about 21 at the time and although never caught the show, I did catch a performance by stars Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner Rosie O'Donnell's talk show.
The performance impacted me enough to seek out the official Broadway recording of the show and played it endlessly at the time. I love the show's entire score, but one song in particular, You Should Be Loved became my favorite. The song, and singers powerful voice made it a favorite and one I used at most of my auditions at the time. I long ago misplaced or lost the CD, but picked up another last week and again have been transported into the world Daisy and Violet's Side Show.
This time, I read the inserts more carefully, identifying the man behind the voice of my favorite song. Norm Lewis has had a celebrated Broadway career, maybe known to many recently for his turn in the revival of Porgy and Bess. To me however, I will always be thankful for his powerful turn as the lovelorn Jake.
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.
Although I can't say I actually watched even a minute from the High School Musical franchise, I was certainly not immune to the appeal of the guys. They say two out of three ain't bad, but in the case of the students from East High, I am hoping for a hattrick.
Last year had me gaining respect for Efron after The Paperboy and losing any appeal I felt from Bleu, whose arrogance turned me off as he danced with the 'stars'. Both did however, give a flash of their post graduate ass's, Efron in That Awkward Moment and Bleu in Nurse. Sadly, my favorite, the adorable Lucas Grabeel is still left. Maybe 2014 will see the completion of the trilogy of tush.