Saturday, March 10, 2018

Take & Give: Eric & Sergey by Richard Rothstein

Are You A Flower Or A Gardener?

They say in every relationship there is a flower and a gardener, a seal and a trainer, a giver and a taker or fitting the theme of FH, a photographer and a model. Although depending on your own situation you may see one or both of the labels as negative, in truth, in order to create any art or spark, there must be both a lighter and a flame.

Now I guess in a healthy relationships, partners flow in and out of each role, sometimes taking the images, other times being the focus of attention. The danger, the risk, the tension and fighting occurs when both decided to take on the same role at the same time. As volatile as this can often be, it can also be incredibly passionate.

Thus far, photographer Richard Rothstein has shot just one model at at a time in his 'apartment project' series. I have been fortunate to have been able to feature several of Richard's apartment assistant's including Sergey whom appeared on FH last month. (Glass House) Since he's now been in his new home over seven months, Richard's needs have been a bit more complicated, requiring two able bodies... to do the heavy lifting.

When Sergey returned for for this shoot, he was accompanied by New York artist and photographer Eric. Although Eric started out the shoot in the role of photographer, it wasn't too long before Richard's 'no clothing in the apartment' rule was enforced and the shoot became a little more... interactive.

With Richard completing the artistic trouple, Eric beautifully balanced taking on various roles, both giver and taker as well as shooting, and being the center of focus. Although Sergey remained in the model role, he certainly also gave back as he was being taken.

Most photo shoots are professionally executed by models and photographers focused on a creative vision. I believe however, one of the reasons so many are drawn to imagery of the naked male form is the fantasy element which viewers interject. Imagining the intimacy being real, and not creatively manufactured in studio and in photo shoppe, is part of the enjoyment. I love that in this series, Richard both challenges and embraces this fantasy by removing visual boundaries and bringing transparency to the voyeuristic elements so many viewers envision may have been present.

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