On The Flintstones, Rock Quarry was sick of Hollyrock and longed for a normal life like the other citizens of Bedrock. I think it was through this old episode of the famous cartoon, that I first became aware of who Rock Hudson was. Everytime I see Rock's name I think I should write something about him. The only mention of Rock in the 7 years of FH was connected to a post on his one time co-star Jack Scalia. Last week, I again saw his name, this time for Come September, a 1961 featured on TCM's tribute to actress Gina Lollobrigida. (Whose name was also used on The Flintstones for the maid Lollobrickida} I didn't see the movie, forgot to DVR, but was again reminded Rock deserved a mention, and a place on the site.
I was about 9 when I really found out who Rock Hudson was. I didn't watch Dynasty at the time, but I was enough of a pop culture nut to be more than a bit interested in the above issue of US magazine with the HOLLYWOOD FACES AIDS headline. I became even more interested in the actor as I got older and spent some time researching his career and closeted life. Without intending to, Rock Hudson arguably did more to raise the public's awareness of Aids than any other celebrity. There is always great debate about the outing of public figures. How much privacy does a celebrity have a right to expect? I always lean towards supporting a persons right to choose what they will or will not share. Disclosure about any aspect of our lives should be our choice, and force, no matter how positively intended, is just that, force. I feel this way about any and every issue, one's sexuality being just part of a very long list.
In the middle eighties, Rock Hudson most likely would have never gotten the role on Dynasty if he was out of the closet. I cannot imagine the fear and exhaustion Rock must have felt, working for all those years as hard at keeping his secret, as the many roles that he played. Looking back, there is something almost beautiful, tragic of course, but beautiful, that Rock's coming out through death, had such an impact, and powerful change on the face of aids and real beginning of the public discussion. I have still yet to watch a Rock Hudson movie, so if anyone has any suggestions of movies to begin my journey into his work, leave a comment, or shoot me a line.
'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.'
I pulled the quote above from my February story The Chair, which featured the work of London photographer Karl Royce. When constructing the piece, one of the shoots Karl had sent on featured 23 year old model James Alejandro. I loved the images, but given they didn't as closely fit the theme I was going for, I decided to set Karl's work with James aside to post on their own.
Although there is a bit of a feel of floating in the clouds, for this shoot, Karl planted James gently, but firmly on the bed. What most struck me when viewing this shoot were the visual variants that blended so well together to create erotic and starkly beautiful final images. Although James is six feet tall, the bed was large enough both embrace, and display his form so beautifully. I also loved the contrast between James dark features against the white, with the small color flash of the red from the jock strap jumping out at you. James hair, both on his head, and body especially on his legs took on great importance visually with the white, and the poses Karl chose to capture.
'It was a pleasure to work with Karl! He made it incredibly easy to work with him and I love that he understands the naked form and views it as a thing of beauty!'
'I wanted to work with James initially, for not just his obvious good looks and natural body hair, but for that amazing shaped mouth; he has the most beautiful shaped lips. He's very easy to work with so will be a model I'll definitely be booking again and just focusing on his raw masculinity. I chose to shoot him on the bed was mainly because on the day there was this golden light coming through that particular window and as the concept was meant to be "dreamscape" inspired. It seemed the obvious choice.'