Friday, June 2, 2017

Damien Manspeaker: A Day in the Life of Kumar & Wolf

'I love documenting life and people in general and it is one of my favorite forms.'

The expression 'A watched pot never boils' is frustratingly often true. There are times when I sit down and actively search for new artists and models to feature on FH. Rarely, do these scheduled times lead to my finding image that inspire me. What is more likely, is that when I least expect it, when I flipping to a news site or checking on the weather, taking a quick glance at Twitter or Instagram, that an image or artist visually grabs me and diverts my attention.

I think part of the reason is that out of the blue bolt of emotion that can't be replicated when you plan something. I got that bolt the first time I discovered the work of artist and musician Damien Manspeaker. I was working on a piece featuring model Daniel Jensen. (Adrenaline Seeker) I saw Daniel's images on Instagram and like many, was captivated by his look. When looking for more images to include, I was blown away by his shots from Damien. Damien shared more of his work with Daniel in a second post featuring their work together in March. (Warrior)

Damien's images of Daniel were visually powerful and full of energy. Damien's imagery, much like the man he was shooting were dynamic, sexy and intensely physical. They were also full of life. Many photographers capture people, but most captured a produced pose or moment. Although Damien's work is clearly carefully planned, the feel of his work is artfully spontaneous. Daniel is also one of Damien's friends, and his images felt a little like a visual diary of Daniel's life, images chronicling his passions and experiences.

Of course the images were more than Damien pulling out his camera while hanging out with his friend. I didn't ask, but from his body of work, I would guess Damien's camera is always by his side. One of the downsides of being good friends with a photographer is that there's always a camera around. One of the good things about being friends with a photographer is that your greatest, and sometimes not so great moments, will always be memorialized. I would also guess at some point, having the camera always around becomes almost natural, something reflected in Damien's work.

This chronicling of life was something I was hoping to explore further, my only question really was whose life? When heading back into Damien's massive portfolio of work the who became clear quickly. I was instantly drawn to Damien shots of Kumar and Wolf. The tall sexy Kumar and the dirty blonde hottie Wolf are both incredibly photogenic. There were also literally hundreds of shots of both. Like Daniel, Kumar and Wolf are friends of Damien, and the images featured here are captures of their experiences together, and with their friend behind the camera.

Neither Kumar or Wolf are models, yet are clearly incredibly comfortable in front of the camera. The images encompass pieces of each of their lives, and how they choose to spend their time. Hanging out at the beach, camping, skateboarding, having fun with those they choose to spend time with. It didn't hurt that both Kumar and Wolf don't seem to mind ripping off their shirts, (and sometimes their pants) when Damien's camera is on them.

There is nothing especially sexual about two, make that three, good friends hanging out and doing the things that they love to do. There is something however, erotically voyeuristic about an outside eye being able to peer in. When Kumar yanked down his pants by the rocks, or Wolf dropping trou at the skate park, it wasn't done for a future posting by some blog writer. They were just natural fun moments hanging out with friends in the run of a normal day.

If you look closely, the images I have put together were not taken in just one day. Despite the immense energy both Kumar and Wolf exude, I am not sure even they, could fit everything captured in just 24 hours. The images actually span about 4 years, most noticed in the small changes in Kumar' hair length and moustache.

Damien's images are a visual scrapbook of not only two hot guys having fun, but of the relationship between three friends. You can see it both in the dynamic between Kumar and Wolf and the fact Damien was present and shooting throughout. It was both a ton of fun choosing which images to include, but also difficult to leave any out.

In the end, my favorites were the images of friendship, between not just the two, but the three. If you want to see a few more, head on over to THE OVER-FLOW for a few other favorites. Also be sure to check out Damien's sites below!

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