Friday, October 27, 2017

The Devil's Advocates: Timothy by New Manhattan Studios

'I recognize stage-fight in models and this was a classic case (with an actor, no less). Body painting certainly qualifies as performance art. Timothy would be standing at the center of attention for three hours while an artist and his assistant painted his naked body and a photographer and his assistant recorded it all.'

We didn't intend it, but the tradition began four years ago on a dark and story October 31st, New Manhattan Studio's work with FH favorite Bond, was about to debut on the site. (Those Who Wait) I am not sure if it was Wes who suggested it... it may have been my idea, or maybe the model himself. When Bond said, 'We have some orange, we have some black...Halloween is this month...Let's do this!' a NMS and FH Halloween tradition was born!

We followed up the next All Hollow's Eve with Bond again with Black to Bond featuring newly edited images from the Black and Orange shoot from the previous year. Last Halloween, Wes pulled out all the stops by bringing together Ricardo and Mason for an exclusive shoot for FH featuring a sexy and stylish pair of ghouls. (Models Gone Mad | Behind the Scenes)

This year, Wes again found himself in a hellish mood, creating a sexy Satan, along with 3 other Devil's advocates, Alex, Jorge and make-up artist and body-painter Charles Zambrano. Many of you may remember Charles' work from this years Valentine's post, Enwrapped In Red. Both Wes and Alex have been enjoying their foray into body painting, Wes photographing it, and Alex, whose body has been both the inspiration, and the canvas for Charles' creativity.

The canvas for Halloween is a model I have had on my NMS bucket list to feature. I have enjoyed Timothy's work for a few years now, including his images being spotlighted in Captured Shadows #3. When I suggested a FH profile, Timothy had already stopped modeling and was pursuing other career opportunities. I thought I had missed my window. Fortunately for us, Wes has a touch of the wicked in him as well, and he knew just what temptations to use to get Timothy back into the studio. Wes documents the sinister session for FH readers below.

Bringing out the Devil: Behind the Scenes

'When an opportunity to do two back-to-back sessions with the body-painter Charles Zambrano, I seized the opportunity to capture some unique holiday-themed art for FH and added a last-minute Halloween shoot to a long-scheduled body-painting session with Alex, the studio’s model/photographer. A sparkling and shiny object was the end goal; a model was needed. Alex’s friend Jorge would be helping out at the first session but I did not know if he would be interested in modeling for internet publication. Awaiting an answer, I reached out to a second model who had already been planning to stop by the studio on Tuesday, delivering pizza for partying after Alex’s session.'

'I was not expecting Tim to say yes to the offer. We have a long history that goes back to a session in the Berkshires when he was 21, but I have considered Tim a retired model for some time now. Still, since he was already heading our way on Tuesday, I shamelessly pandered to the actor in him with an offer to earn some extra money while donning the most meticulously-crafted costume he’d ever wear. In the end, though, I think it was the character itself that sealed the deal. I was offering him the chance to play the Prince of Darkness.'

'I have worked with Charles on several body-painting sessions now and realize that most models don’t have a clue as to what they’re getting into when they agree to their first session. Depending on the design, it can be a long, tiresome and intimate experience. Despite having sent photos from previous sessions and discussed the process in some length in written correspondence, I was concerned that Tim hadn’t fully visualized himself in a body-painting session.'

'My concerns were answered when Tim entered and I saw the big gulp on his face as he looked around. His session just ending, Alex was standing in a pool of light in the middle of the room, naked, painted from head to toe. The body-painter (that Tim had not met) was being assisted by Jorge, Alex’s friend. As we laid out the pizza Tim pulled me aside to ask if there was any beer. (Tim knows that I prohibit drugs or alcohol at photo sessions, but body-painting sessions are tedious affairs and at the artist’s suggestion, beer was on-hand.) Tim started nursing some liquid courage as he surveyed the situation. I wasn’t worried that he’d bolt, but clearly he was having second thoughts about going through with this.'

'I recognize stage-fight in models and this was a classic case (with an actor, no less). Body painting certainly qualifies as performance art. He would be standing at the center of attention for three hours while an artist and his assistant painted his body and a photographer and his assistant recorded it all. I did not want to prod Tim into doing anything he didn’t want to do and told him so. There was no doubt he felt pressured. My words couldn’t disguise the fact that we had crew and resources on hand and everyone was ready. He slipped out to call his girlfriend. He had a second beer.'

'Alex finished and headed into the showers, Tim was up. He motioned for me to come into another room where he quietly asked if everything had to be painted. I explained that it was the artist’s rule so as not to break the spell of the costume, for either the viewer or the model. I told him that every model who had done these sessions had fun and I assured him that he just had pre-stage jitters. I was confident he’d be fine once he got started. (Make that “fairly confident.”)  

Despite any misgivings, he declared that he’d told me he would do this, so he would. Once again I was humbled by the trust that models have shown in me. I handed him a towel and left the room. Moments later, in a bright red towel, he stepped into the room and onto the paper.'

'Within minutes of starting, Charles was bringing the devil out in Timothy. Lips curled. Eyebrows were arched. As more red paint was applied, sinister glances were practiced. I had been correct. Actor that he is, Tim started getting into character almost immediately. Before the artist was finished Tim’s excitement over his costume was obvious. Marveling at the metallic red skin, he was snapping selfies of the process to share with the GF. There is always a poignant moment at the close of the session when three or four hours of work comes to a quiet and ignoble end. In the 20 or 30 minutes of shooting in costume, Tim announced that he’d forgotten how much fun modeling was. And in the blink of an eye, it was all over. With all photos taken and the art duly recorded for posterity, it was time for the shower.'

'But not this time. Tim did not want to wash all the hard work off before it could be appreciated by someone else. He was thought that his red skin and new persona might be a major turn-on for the girlfriend. Slipping his clothes over the red body, he was dropped off in the late-night streets of Brooklyn. Just another Devil on his way home after a long evening at work.'

'Did he have fun? Yes! Would he do it again? Yes! And soon. We’ve also been told that the costume was a hit at home that night, too! Tim is featured as the cover model in Captured Shadows #3. His work with New Manhattan Studios can also be found in Berkshire Place and Gramercy Square. Click here to find All Things Timothy at New Manhattan Studios.

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