Regardless of one's personal feelings, when it comes to money and business, usually they're pushed aside for a buck. There is nothing new about about company's marketing to the gay community. Many company's and brands, especially the travel industry, financial services, alcoholic beverages, hair and skincare and of course the fashion industry have been aiming ads at the LGBT community for decades. I am thinking though, that the Portuguese paper company Renova might be the first combine the naked male form with the selling of toilet paper.
Although I appreciate the beauty of the imagery, I am not sure 'Wrapped in Renova, is really a great slogan. There is a bit of irony about wrapping a body whose purpose and design is meant to clean and rub off, not wrap around the naked body...
When I first featured the work of Atlanta photographer Bob Burkhardt I entitled the piece 'Field Of View'. My goal for the piece was to highlight Bob's immense field of vision and it's impact on the images he produces. In many ways, great images are not about the subject, but more about how an artist is able to see them. Photography skills can be taught and learned, the ability to actually see the scope of what is in front, and around you, is a much more difficult ability to learn.
Bob's experience in graphic design have given him an eye for composition and the use of light. Bob also feels his background draws him to create clean, crisp imagery. These eye for detail was what struck me most in this beautiful series of images of XL. XL clearly has a strong presence in front of the lens, but beyond the face, beyond the body and it's breath taking parts, Bob draws you to the details.
My eyes moved from the pattern of XL's facial hair, down his body with the drops of moisture sliding down his stomach and back and backside. The lines and beautiful creases in his skin. Usually as the clothes come off, the ability to see detail may be stripped away, but in these images, as the clothes come off, the details become that much more impressive.
'XL and I met on a shoot I was doing for a local adult site. He's young but I was impressed how motivated he was in this adult work and in all areas of his life. We had a great connection and I suggested he do work to appeal to a more mainstream audience which we are working on. He is creative, driven and focused and I look forward to working with him again.'
With XL's incredible body and look, I would guess many who shoot him, simply ask him to take off his clothes and then begin shooting. I am sure the resulting images would be hot and one might not feel do to much more. After seeing Bob's incredible captures however... with XL's creative poses and Bob's focus on detail.... we would know what we were missing.
Bob also own's the pb&j gallery in Atlanta, GA. He is currently looking for local photographers who shoot fine art nudes of women to be a part of their exhibition, Body&Soul in February 2015. If you're interested in exhibiting, check out some of the work included in the 2014 show HERE: