'A person has to know despair before he is allowed to experience unmitigated joy.'
' Country Such as This' by former Marine Capt James Webb
If you ask people what the opposite of happy is, almost all would likely reply with sad. Truth is, one cannot really know what either emotion truly feels like unless, they having felt the other. This connection, and dichotomy within emotions, is to me the soul of artist Ohm Phanphiroj's work. Ohm's images are incessant, staying with you emotionally, long after the visual has faded.
There is depth and intensity to the weaving of opposing emotions which Ohm continuously and skillfully taps into within his work. Sensuality and sorrow, loneliness and pain, and the fierce longing and desire that often accompany passion and love. Ohm images captures those moments 'just after'. Just after sex, just after a fight or break up, just after discovering something about yourself once hidden, has risen to the surface. Above all, Ohm captures that moment, when the thing or relationship, the one you thought would bring you a lifetime of happiness, disintegrates then dies, bringing on a flood of emotion that you are positive you cannot live through.
We all deal with dichotomy and opposing emotions within our lives, but it seems all the more profound for those who serve our country. Marines are expected to be heroes, putting their lives on the line for man and country. Yet, in order to earn the title of hero, marines often required, within the line of duty, to perform acts of violence and witness moments of brutality that can rock a persons soul at it's core. Even more difficult, is that the associated emotions often need to be suppressed, buried until the missions goals are achieved.
We all know emotions never remain buried for long, they lie and linger, simmering to a boil until they erupt. This simmering only adds to the intensity, often leading to the creation of an powerful spectrum of emotions from sadness and pain to all consuming passion, sexual desire and lust.
It is this lust which Ohm Phanphiroj taps into in this set of images of 21 year old marine Connor Davis. The blonde and blue eyed Snellville, Georgia model says that being a marine has helped him stay grounded and remain humble. That hasn't however suppressed his love of attention nor has it stopped his dreams of becoming a model. Connor one days see's himself modeling for Hollister or Abercrombie. With his incredible body, chiseled jaw, beautiful eyes and face the dream is destined to become a reality.