I am jeans an t-shirt kind of guy. Except for meeting days at work, I usually dress casually and no little to nothing about clothes making, sewing or material. That didn't stop me from being a bit intrigued when I stumbled upon the image above. In my hunt for great 4th of July material, the above image came up for a listing on e-bay. Further research led me to a Fabric Site where I learned a bit more about it.
The material is Alexander Henry and all of the images here are from their 'retro' collection. My questions was exactly how retro are they? Clearly the appeal would be to gay men not teenage girls but I cannot imagine either, make that anyone, sporting a shirt, dress or spring coat out of any of these patterns. The e-bay listing suggested the material was for a quilt, but unless sewed together for a party or as a joke gift... I was left wondering who would buy them... Purpose aside, I enjoyed stumbling upon them and searching for the many 'hunk' inspired patterns the company thought up.
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.
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.
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.
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!'
Mark Grantham's cirque érotique is my favorite of the many themes the Santa Cruz artist explores. Diego's shoot with Mark came about while he was looking for inspirations for upcoming shoots. Diego says that he stumbled upon Mark's work and messaged him, complementing his imagery. In turn, Mark checked out Diego's video on YouTube and the seeds of collaboration were planted.
'Mark was extremely professional and respectful of my hesitation to be naked in front of camera. I soon felt completely comfortable shooting with him.'
'Diego was a great guy who found me on Google, he'd seen my work with another aerialist and tracked me down. Diego was pushing his own envelope a bit, but the shoot was something he wanted to do before his birthday. He found the location, and he had all of the props. He made it easy for me!'