I have written before about my love of circus, as a child circus was a gateway to many fantasy's and dreams. I dreamt like many of running away and becoming part of a both the travelling show, and the travelling family. The elephant act was always my favorite, such incredible creatures, huge beauties representing natural wonder and mystery. Of course as I grew older and became enlightened I grew to despise seeing such majestic giants forced to perform, trapped travelling the country instead of roaming free. It is great news then taht Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey has announced they are finally phasing out using elephants within their shows. Hopefully it is just the beginning of changes in the use of animals for our entertainment.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will phase out the show's iconic elephants from its performances by 2018, telling The Associated Press exclusively that growing public concern about how the animals are treated led to the decision.Executives from Feld Entertainment, Ringling's parent company, said the decision to end the circus's century-old tradition of showcasing elephants was difficult and debated at length. Elephants have often been featured on Ringling's posters over the decades. The decision is being announced Thursday. "There's been somewhat of a mood shift among our consumers," said Alana Feld, the company's executive vice president. "A lot of people aren't comfortable with us touring with our elephants."
'They were total naturals. Although the duo shoot has its own sensuality to it, the interaction between the two was always about the art. They were enjoying every moment of being together, nude, and making themselves quite beautiful together.'
There was no plan to shoot Karaji and Dree together, in fact, there was no plan for them to actually meet. It was serendipitous according to photographer Chris A Freeman. The Chicago artist was in New York last winter, he had rented apartment on the upper West side, right across the street from Central Park. Dree and Karaji were booked for separate shoots. Chris was not quite finished his work with Dree when Karaji arrived for his shoot.
Dree doesn't really consider himself a model nor is especially energized being in front a camera. He does love to pose though, especially wearing underwear. Dree arrived with a huge bag of different underwear he wanted to wear, but as you can see, didn't mind shooting without it as well.
Karaji on the other hand likes to perform and at the time of the shoot was working as a dancer at a well known Manhattan club. The duo shot was completely spontaneous and only happened because of their brief meeting between one shoot and the other. The visual of the two models standing together motivated Chris to ask if they would be up for posing together. 'It was just serendipitous that they have nearly identical skin tones and very similar slender builds. One was slightly more endowed than the other, but they were completely fine with that.'
The beauty and intimacy Chris was able to capture is extraordinary, especially considering Karaji and Dree had just met and without any relationship past, history or trust. There body lines blend so gracefully and there is almost a seamlessness feel about their poses. Although erotic and sensual, the poses and images are not overtly sexual, the focus more on lines, curves and form.
Although I had certainly heard of singer songwriter Kris Kristofferson, it wasn't until a few years ago I really became familiar with his work as an actor. I caught the 1976 version of A Star Is Born with Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand and instantly fell in lust with the then 39 year old actor. Kris spent a fair bit of the film shirtless and there was something so raw and sexual about him that grabbed my attention.
Last week, as part of TCM's 31 Days Of Oscar, I caught another of the actors early films, this time, 1974's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore with Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn. Again, Kristofferson's soulful eyes and overt masculinity made an impact. Kristofferson has that beautiful blend of gentle masculinity, clearly rugged and raw, but also quiet and artistic. I might come from the actors love of poetry and song writing that he is able to be so multi dimensional on film.
This time, I decided to do a bit more research for a post. I was surprised to learn of the actors wealth of acting roles, especially in the 70's. Kristofferson has appeared opposite many Hollywood's most well known actresses. Besides Burstyn and Streisand, he has appeared opposte Jane Fonda, Bernadette Peters, Ali McGraw, Marsha Mason to name a few.
With Bernadette Peters in Vigilante Force (1976)
With Ali McGraw on the poster for Convoy, 1978
Playgirl Cover with Jane Fonda promoting Rollover (1981)
With Burt Reynolds in Semi-Tough (1977)
With Barbra Streisand in A Star Is Born (1976)
Below: With Sarah Miles from The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea (1976)
1976's The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea had mixed results on Kristofferson's life and career. The film's love scenes with actress Sarah Miles, and subsequent Playboy pictorial are described as the nadir of the actor's career. Kristofferson says he was pretty much out of it for much of the shoot and between his relationship with Miles, and his heavy whisky habit, the movie resulted in the end of his marriage to singer Rita Coolidge.
Kris in Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid (1973)
Although Kristofferson's acting career may have helped end his marriage, he and Rita Coolidge worked together on two films including A Star Is Born and 1973' Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid. Although Kris only showed his backside in the film, he proved a method actor. As you can see from the cap below, no cock sock during filming for Kristofferson.