Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hungry Eyes: Keith by Robert J Guttke

'Guttke hopes others share in his aesthetic appreciation. But experience has also led him to believe that once the picture is out there, hungry eyes want to do with it what they will. 'One cannot control the reaction of the audience.'

Most artists who make their focus the male form at one point or another ask themselves a certain question. 'What is the difference between art and porn?' Why are some depictions of the male nude hung in living room and art galleries, and others... hidden in plastic or brown wrappers on the drugstores magazine rack. In one of my early features on his work, Robert J Guttke answered that question with just three simple words, 'Lighting and Intent.'

I was lucky to be connected with the Minneapolis artist, sculpture, photographer and writer back in 2012 when I interviewed Robert for the 5th issue of tMf magazine. During the course of putting together the piece, Robert sent me a variety of samples of his work featuring different models, themes and locations. In the hundreds of images of Robert's that I have seen, the lighting was always exquisite, and intent, never in question. Hungry eyes may be briefly satisfied by a hot body, but it never lasts. Shortly, the need for another fix, another body returns. Robert's images leave viewers artistically full and nourished, savoring the visual without the desire or instant need for more.

With model such as Keith, many photographers might be ok 'sliding by' focusing on his impressive physique or his photo ready penis. Keith earned his hard body running track at St. Cloud university and eventually added weight lifting, going on to become Mr. Minnesota. Not content to just capture his body, the intent with this shoot was to push it to it's limits. Robert began by scheduling the shoot at one of his favorite locations, now sadly, long demolished. Making use of the soft light during the rainy, over cast day, Robert pushed Keith athletically to have his well defined body appear even more extreme.

'Muscles actually in motion and DOING something tend to be more interesting and are a design project within themselves: marvelous shapes so often disguised by clothes. Thus the innocence of nudity reveals wonders.'

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