'I don't work with 'models', I work with 'people'
When I came upon the work of Rotterdam artist Paul Sixta, I was visually drawn in at once by what I then thought was pose. The more time I spent with Paul's images however, pose just didn't seem to fit. To pose is to put one's body into a position, an artificial position, usually for the purpose of being permanently captured for a photo, drawing or sculpture.
The men Paul captured however, were not exactly posing, many in fact were photographed in movement. The point at which Paul captured them is more natural and organic than if they were simply holding a pose. The closest adjective that fit for me was posturing. Posturing is often thought of as using one's body to convey an attitude or emotion, sometimes as a way of expression, other times as a form of protection.
Posturing is at it's core is about the movement and positioning of the body. It may have an attitude, but in most cases, it is the way in which we navigate our bodies through the physical obstacle course of doors and rooms, stairs and side walks. Beyond the physical hurdles however, it is the emotional challenges that often dictate how tall we stand, how low we cower, how proud we walk or how quickly or slowly we maneuver through a particular situation our bodies may, and very often may not, want to be in.
'I don't ask them to pose. I invite them to come to my studio and we get to know each other. I give people a free space to express themselves however they feel like in the moment. Sometimes this involves movement other times its a lot of talking and sitting around. I try to observe a moment, expression and pose that feels authentic to them.'
I think it is the authenticity that Paul describes is what resonates for me from his imagery. Paul's focus is on story telling and exploring relationships and through his subjects expression, there are most certainly beautiful stories being told.