One of the most famous wearers of the classic black speedo has to be silver medalist and 4 time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis. Louganis won back to back gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games on both the springboard and platform events. I remember watching as a child and the shock as watching live as Louganis hit his head on the way down. It was incredible to see him pull himself together to get back up and dive and go on to win Gold.
I watched director Cheryl Furjanic's documentary 'Back On Board' last week and was fascinated by all that didn't know about the Olympic hero. His accomplishments in diving were all the more impressive after seeing his struggles growing up and with coming out. It was wonderful to see the coaches and their families who took the young diver into their lives, and filling in the parenting, and clearly gaps in love Greg felt growing up.
Louganis, who as you can see from his Playgirl layout, looks good in or out of his black speedo. I was most struck in Furjanic's film by how much Louganis lost, much of it financially, even before he officially came out. With the 'is he gay' rumours out, Louganis was deemed by most companies, Wheaties most notable, as being unsuitable to represent their brand. While other athletes around him, many not as successful as he, took in millions from endorsements after the Olympics came to close, Louganis struggled to make it financially with speaking engagements and personal appearances. I think Wheaties should right their wrong with a 2018 30th anniversary of his 4 Gold Medal Wheaties box featuring Greg. In your corner Wheaties!
Although the last official day of summer isn't until September 23rd, for many, (especially of those in school) the last week of August is often the symbolic last blast of summer. The final opportunities to stay up late, go camping, go to the lake or the ocean. This Sunday marks the beginning of the last full week of August. It also marks the beginning of my vacation! I am heading away for the week and won't be home, nor have time to work on new posts. But....
With the the help of some of FH's many contributing artists, and my desire to return to the summer's I remember as a kid, I have prepared a week of summer themed posts to hopefully bring a bit of sun to the dwindling days of August. Starting Sunday you can head to the beach, the camp, the lake, the boat, the field for a week of sizzling features to suck as much heat out of the summer sun as possible. Although I won't be around, FH will still be going strong all week. Enjoy your final days of August and I will be back to working on new pieces September 1st.
'Bare skin , the feel of a man made machine, wooden logs , sand and stone beneath me I was able to feel something quite unforgettable. The wind breathed emotional history, humans ability to innovate, create, build, harm and destroy.'
Ever since I was a kid I had a fascination with trains. I remember the thrill that I felt when our car had to stop so the trin could pass by. Annoying to my parents, exciting for me. Wondering who was on the train and all of the incredible places they might be going. Although it has been years since a train went through my town, the old tracks remain, forgotten, run down and incredibly beautiful. A visual reminder of what was. I am also obviously partial to photography focused on the male form love when my passions so wonderfully collide.
I remember prior to starting FH coming upon a blog that combined both the male form and trains and the history of rail road. Although the blog had a few incarnations, some of you might remember it as Blood & Custard. It was amazing to see the blog authors posts, alternating between beautiful naked men and modern and historical images of trains and rail roads. Another of my fascinations is with long abandoned spaces. Places left for dead, overgrown, no longer the living breathing space they once were. Over the years on FH I have featured artists and models all over the world in abandoned buildings, farms, old mines, banks, prisons and of course on rail road tracks.
Some of my favorite artists have breathed new life to some of these spaces. Photographing the living, breathing, naked male form, while unearthing memories, a bit of their history all the while resuscitating them briefly through their imagery . I cannot think of a finer combination of artist, model and space than and old train car and tracks in Borrego Springs California, David from YogaBear studio and the extraordinary male form of Yoni Baker.
The first time I saw David's work with Yoni I stopped in my tracks. Yoni has a powerful and incredibly sexual presence in front of the lens. His body is a work of art and his face and eyes exudes a classic, almost immortal quality that brings a unique and timeless quality to his work. Completely naked, no hint of anything but respect and pride for the art being created. Both David and Yoni were very supportive of my sharing their work, first in a series of pieces back in February. (Journey To Blacks Beach)
When I contacted them both recently about their most recent shoot together, again both jumped on board with full support. When reading Yoni's account of their day together, I knew his captivating account of the day needed needed nothing from me but a couple of comma's. If you're as captivated as Yoni as I am, be sure to check out Warrior Yoni, Zombie Yoni and of course naked Yoni on his new site HERE:
'When David mentioned Borrego Springs, near a nudist colony for out shoot, I had a little heart skip. I was a virgin on the beach for that first photo shoot, so now a virgin in the desert. David came to pick me up which was great of him. Sword, shield, costume, religious items, Hiking shoes, hat, and water, we were off on our latest adventure. Before the desert. we stopped to get gas. I went inside the store to get a protein bar, however I suspect I took a bit to long in comparing the labels of the bars. One can never be to careful in choosing a decent protein bar I told David. We found a parking spot (not to difficult ) and as I lathered on the sunblock as we talked of the upcoming hike and the deserted trains to come.'
'Being a huge sci-fi, Mad Max, Zombie, Apocalyptic, 80's music/fashion fan, I was fascinated by the trains ( and the graffiti on them) I wondered the trains history and how it got here. Who rode it? where they were going? what were all those peoples stories, discussions held aboard, arguments, joy, laughter, sadness.... its bitter sweet for this train, it sits in burial in the blazing sand yet captivated by visitors.'
'So here I am to be a part of the trains hidden secrets, to walk in the isles nude, to touch its sides covered by the colors of spray paint, to feel the crunch of broken glass beneath my shoes. , to hold the railings, to pose below its belly. The vapors of the past, and the now, excited me , we had a great session on the train and the huge wooden logs nearby (some of my favorite photos).'
'As we walked back and clothed I remembered David's dislike of the tracks we were about to cross, but asked him to take a few photos of me on them just to capture the model moment. As we did that, a few guys passed us, cameras in hands heading to the train. I looked at David, no time like the present, lets shoot? so we have time?'
'Not caring about the trains newest admirers I quickly took my clothes off and posed on the tracks. I have been wanting to do this for a long time. However, instead of my warriors nature and desire to muscle the tracks, I romanticized them and tried to be a part of them. Again David captured that and more...'
'With David as a true narrator, storyteller and author, he was able to bring all this to light. He asked me what my motivation was behind the modeling and the photo shoots. I can sum it up as that connection to my imagination, my history , the world around me, and what I can bring back to it...Maybe it wasn't as dramatic as that, but I like to remember it that way haha. It's also being able to connect with someone that can capture that essence. Once again a great team, we parted ways only to plan our next adventure.'