A few weeks ago while flipping TV channels late at night I stopped on an old episode of Murder She Wrote. I only watched for a few minutes, but long enough to recognize an familiar, and intensely adorable face. I didn't remember the actors name, but after checking the on screen guide, and seeing the episode was entitled Murder in F Sharp, I headed to IMDB.
I should have known it was Stephen Caffrey, although I didn't watch Tour Of Duty, Caffrey's most known television role, I remember falling in 'crush' with that face and smile when seeing his images in magazines and promos for the show. Caffrey got his start in the mid eighties on All My Children, but many of you may know him best for his 1989 role as fuzzy in Longtime Companion. If you don't recognize the face, check out the images of the film below. Caffrey had a beard for his role, hence the name Fuzzy. Longtime Companion was one of the first, and only films at the time to focus on the AIDS epidemic in he 80's.
Caffrey work steadily throughout the 80's and 90's but his roles after 2000 were sporadic. Caffrey's last television appearance in 2015 was playing David Tennant in the short lived series American Odyssey which aired on NBC. Caffrey continues to act though, most in theatre, currently on stage in Costa Mesa, CA playing Lambert in the South Coast Repertory company's production of Shakespeare in Love.
Although I couldn't find a lot of shirtless shots, Stephen did have great legs he didn't seem to mind showing off! The shot above is from the French magazine Ciné Télé Revue. If anyone has a better scan, please let me know!
Legs on Colombo (1990)
All My Children (1984-1986)
With Ricky Paull Goldin in Hard Knox (1984)
Tour of Duty (1987-1990)
Above: With Kim Delaney
With Terrance Knox
With Campbell Scott and Dermot Mulroney in Longtime Companion (1989)
'Renn had left a pair of shoes at the house accidentally which I found a few days after a shoot. He asked me to set them outside the door so he could pick them up that week while I'd be at work since he couldn't wait a month to get them. The month passed and there was never any word from him, and the shoes were still on our porch too.'
For some reason, Mark's comment about Renn's shoes resonated and stuck with me. Not just because a model left a pair of shoes, or another item or piece of clothing behind, that happens all the time. I was left wondering why those dress shoes, so important to Renn when he called Mark about leaving them... sat on Mark's porch for a month, and still remained unclaimed.
First let me say that I have been wanting to feature Mark's images of Renn for a long time. I first spotted their work together on Mark's Model Mayhem page about two years ago and was instantly enthralled with his smile, his hairy legs and Mark's creative captures which were both sexy and erotic as well as plenty of images focused on Renn's incredible face and and smile. Mark was fully on board for feature, but wanted to wait until after a third shoot that was tentatively in the works. Mark was hoping to put together a book of his work with Renn, and was looking to shoot in some different locations, maybe the beach, for a future book publication.
When I recently asked Mark about that third shoot, Mark let me know that much like picking up that pair of shoes, Renn's third shoot was left uncompleted. Reading through Mark's comments about the first and second shoots, there may be a few clues as to why... Modeling wasn't something Renn had thought a lot about, or planned as a part of his future. It was Renn's girlfriends idea to give it a try, she was a successful figure/art model herself and thought given his look, it might be something he would be successful at. She even attended Renn's first shoot with Mark, doing his make-up, acting and observing the shoot.
At the time of the first shoot, Renn was excited about what modeling might lead to, and a a possible future modeling and being able to focus on music, another of his passions. They stated by exploring some of Mark's often-used urban decay setting and remembers that Renn wasn't the least bit squeamish about the dirt and grit of the locations, and was totally at ease creating there. Renn had also done some break dancing and was great with movement which helped create some unique poses during the shoot. Mark shares that it was a bit of a cool day, and that one looks their best when things get chilled... but having his girlfriend close by seemed to help Renn remain attentive and 'camera ready.'
'Renn appeared completely at ease and without the slightest embarrassment ,nor should he have been embarrassed for any reason, but it's still a rare straight 19 year old who is comfortable walking around with an erection in front of both his girlfriend, and a photographer.'
When Renn returned for second shoot, there were a few changes in his life, including a change in desire to continue modeling. His focus and goals had shifted from music and dancing to writing and philosophy, with Renn's dreams of an entertainment career replaced now by his desire to be a writer. Although still with his girlfriend, Renn arrived to this shoot solo, although Mark says this didn't hamper his enthusiasm or ability to be 'camera ready' Renn spent much of the day shooting with another photographer, but Mark squeezed in an hour near the end of the day. Having borrowed a friend's antique Citroen coupe, the shoot began with a focus on fashion. The owner of the car belongs to a European car club, and wanted a few images that he could share with other members, so to start, Renn needed to keep his clothes on.
Mark says Renn did a great job of moving around and exploring the quirks of the car as he did a gradual strip, starting fully dressed, then removing one piece of clothing at a time until fully nude. Although Renn had decided not to continue modeling, he enjoyed his time working with Mark and after this shoot said he'd be more than happy to shoot with Mark again in the future. But... there's still that pair of dress shoes. The shoes that never did get picked up. I never asked Mark if two years later, they're still waiting for their owner to show up. For some reason I see those shoes as a metaphor or the barometer measuring Renn's enthusiasm for modeling Maybe those shoes just might be the key to whether we'll be seeing more of Renn in the future. Either way, I'll keep you posted, especially if Mark decides to proceed with that book and of course, if those shoes are ever reunited with their owner.
'Renn was one of those models who immediately gave me the impression he could "make it" in the modeling biz if he wanted to. At the time of our first shoot he wanted to be an actor or singer, and though modeling would be fun until he got his big break. He's an interesting a sweet kid and if there had been a third shoot, I would have focused on the more sweet or innocent side of him too for the contrast. I've had several people who've seen his images compare him to James Dean though, and he really does strike me as that secret bad boy/rebel.'
Last month, I introduced FH readers to Sketchy Saturday, and featured Richard Rothstein's images of Will and Zachery from the January 6th session. Sketchy Saturday is a popular weekly event at Therapy Lounge in NYC and rotates different models in each week for their patrons to draw or enjoy. Enjoyment is a big part of the event as visitors are encouraged to draw, or simply order a cocktail and lust after the models in the middle of the room.
Richard Rothstein was one again invited to shoot the event last Saturday when Mike and Sean Matthew disrobed to be depicted by the budding artists in attendance. This weeks session seemed a bit more intimate, with more interaction between both the models, as well as those artists requiring a closer look with their creations. I generally hate performances with audience participation, but this is one event in which I could support it!
'I’m fascinated by these shoots at Therapy. I’ve never worked with a stationary model before; they always follow my direction or improvise and explore different emotions and poses for me. Photographing someone not moving forces me to constantly move to find my angles and perspectives; to examine the model much more intensely than I’ve ever done before.'
'The process is surprisingly intimate and erotic, but also there are fascinating walls and distances. And then there is an almost mesmerizing element of voyeurism that I’ve never before indulged in. As an artist I always follow a narrative, even if it’s only obvious to me. When I did the first shoot at Therapy, I was afraid that I wouldn’t find a narrative and that the shoot would quickly turn boring and stagnant. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. And, of course, the dynamic between a room full of artists and the model is a narrative unto itself and helps fuel my work.'
If you find yourself in NYC on a Saturday night, Therapy Lounge welcomes all artists, experienced or drawing virgins, and anyone else who may take an interest in the event, or just the male forms on display. Therapy posts the models posing each Saturday on their Instagram page which you can check out HERE: You can also check or more of Richard's shots from last Saturday on THE OVER-FLOWHERE: