Saturday, June 27, 2015

Max Woltman: Domestic Pleasures

'My specialty is in showcasing timeless human characteristics such as personality, emotional range, sexuality, and other qualities that won't go out of fashion next season. I believe in revealing something intimate, sacred, vulnerable, and unique about you.'

In Friday's artist feature, I touched on some of the reasons certain images resonate with me, and what it takes for an image to become a favorite. No matter how many times I go over what draws me to certain visuals, it inevitably comes back to story. FH is full of incredible images of the naked, or almost naked male form. The images I love best however, are the images of that form in the contest of an idea, a creative theme or story from the mind of the artist behind the camera.

Many of you are familiar with the work of Albuquerque artist Max Woltman. FH readers will remember my previous stories featuring Max's work, especially the two pieces focusing on his work with the dynamic Austin Tacious. I first contacted Max again after seeing the image I used today's pic of the day. Not only was it an incredibly hot image, it also told a complete story, one with mixed with humour, mystery and a of course a large dose of erotica.

When Max sent on more images, all under the theme, Domestic Pleasures I was impressed how, like the first photo, each image in the series told not only a compete, but unique story. When I say complete, I don't mean fully written, the writing of the story takes place in our imaginations, but Max provides everything you need to uncover what emotionally led up to, or is about to happen, in the final captured moment. There is a mix of innocence with naughty which Max says stems from his being a Gemini which accounts for the sweet and saucy weaved together in so many of his images.

As a writer, I could have taken any of the images Max sent on, and used them as the base for a short story or novel. It is the images that stimulate my story telling that are the easiest to write about. Max describes himself as someone who is not the best with words, 'After all, I do think in pictures.' I might have to disagree with him on this as every time I feature his work, I always get incredible text to assist me with presenting his work. The remaining words, come directly from Max.

The feel of a hard hallway floor on his knees, warm shower water trickling down his face, a fresh towel brushing against his leg as he checks himself out in the bathroom mirror…

In this photographic series, "Domestic Pleasures," I delve into the private dwellings of these men, giving us a glimpse into their erotic lives and allowing us to decide how we want the stories to unfold. We can choose to become the men in these photos, yearning for own own familiar mattress or the anticipation of a visitor. What has happened, is currently happening, or is about to happen?

Our sensual interactions with our spaces reveal the intimate ways in which we seek sanctuary and refuge from our busy, hectic lives. Offering a safe haven and an opportunity for these men to take time for themselves often results in unexpected, yet meaningful imagery. By presenting some direction (though not too much), I can have them explore their own fantasies and surprise me with their intuitions. I'll have to admit I never expected one of the models to have five dildos on hand.

Every space has its own character. When I go into someone's room, apartment, house, etc., I first look for areas with good lighting options. Then I look for ways in which I can persuade the model to interact with these areas. I rarely have a vision of the final image, but rather treat the photo shoot like an improvised dance so the model and I can collaborate and feed off each other's creative impulses. Magic results when two or more minds are working together like in ensemble theatre. Let's spend twenty minutes pretending your bathtub faucet is a penis. Go!

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