Last month, when featuring byKent's work with ZatBoofVGer, ( A Twitch of the Eyebrow) I included a few shots of Zat posing naked on a step ladder. They were my favorites from the shoot due to Zat's poses and the lines and curves Kent so beautifully captured. There were more from the series I wanted to share so put them together in their own piece on page 2 HERE:
Although Labour day isn't the end of summer, it does begins the end of beach days countdown. Couldn't think of a better pair to head to the beach with than Ron and his brother Gregg. Ron's a lifeguard, brother Gregg's an Olympic swimmer. It's a long trip to this beach though, all the way to Australia, circa 1974.
There once was a merman named Glaucus. Glaucus was hatched fathoms below the ocean's surface, about 11,000 nautical mile's southwest of the southern tip of Ireland. Growing up named after the prophetic Greek God of the sea, Glaucus knew there were expectations. Expectations to be heroic and to be brave. There were also expectations to mate, to find a suitable mermaid to procreate with, to breed and produce plenty of offspring to carry on the species.
Mermen have a fierce reputation for summoning storms, sinking ships and drowning sailors, but being the God of the Sea, Glaucus' role was to be the protector of fishermen and to give advice to anyone who was lost in the sea. This led the young merman to struggle with bonding with his fellow mermen, most who were older, haggard and bored, with the limitation of life under the sea.
It didn't help that Glaucus wasn't interested in mermaids. He also wasn't interested in mermen. There were limits with tail to tail contact, and Glaucus dreamed of finding and falling in love with a mortal, a prince who would scoop him up in his net, enter his tail slit, and cause every scale to quiver and stand on end. Sadly, Glaucus knew this wasn't a dream that his marine mates and kin group would ever ever support.
But Glaucus had a dream, and he knew what he had to do make it come true. The young merman knew it was risky, but he was both passionate and determined. During his time assisting fisherman and studly sailors in need, Glaucus often found himself falling hard for moist men he assisted to shore. None of these men however returned his love, nor his desire. Glaucus was never sure if it was because of his sex, or because of his tail.
They did however share stories, stories of places where all relationships were possible, places with an abundance of male mortals who would see his body and flesh as more than something to gut and fillet. Glaucus knew where he had to go, and knew what he had to do. Without a word to anyone, he slid out of the mer-cave late one night and sped across the Atlantic towards the East Coast of the US.
Glaucus wasn't sure what he'd find, but he was told there many beaches in and around New York with fisherman looking to hook and catch, all he had to offer. After four days and three nights, Glaucus came to shore. He was amazed at the sights and sounds from the shore and bright lights from the Boardwalk. Glaucus remained hidden, about a mile from shore until darkness finally came. It was then he headed to shore and onto the beach to unveil and display his bait.
For hours Glaucus dove in and out of the surf, dancing along the break water close to the shore attempting to attract some attention. At the three hour mark, Glaucus was about to give up. Except for a group of drunken teens, who threw beer cans at his head, he hadn't managed to catch anyone's eye, or see anyone's rod thrusting towards his bait.
Tired and forlorn, Glaucus pulled himself along the beach and onto to the rocks to take a rest. The trek across the Atlantic had taken more out of him than he thought, and Glaucus fell asleep, convinced his mortal dream was never meant to be. The feel of heavy mesh netting lading his lower fin caused Glaucus to rise, turn and lock eyes with the hot naked fisherman sizing up his catch... to find out if this is more than just a catch and release story, continue checking out the rest of the tail's tale on page 2 HERE:
When I saw byKent's shots of ZatBoofVGeron the ladder, I was struck by not only how much fun Zat seemed to be having with the shoot and prop, but how confident he looked in front of Kent's lens. Like so many of us, Zat's wasn't something he always felt, especially when he was younger and in school. It was well earned, from experiences, especially the difficult ones which both embed and change the way we see the world, and ourselves within it.
'School was a painful experience at the time that has progressed far more towards ambivalence over the years since. Particularly in elementary and junior high where, as the fat kid with parents that couldn't afford to clothe me in more than a few t shirts and some gym shorts in the winters of the Midwestern steppe, I was subject to a fair amount of bullying. Friends have always been something of a rarity, unfortunately, and I grew up as a child of solitude. I guess you could say I always had the reputation of being a nerd as well, since book smarts always came pretty effortlessly to me. But I was certainly no class clown, to be sure, nor did I ever care much for any sort of attention.'
'The bugbear of body dysmorphia will always be there, growing up as I did. But I'm ok with looking at myself in the mirror for the first time in my life so that's a step in the right direction. Mind-wise, I have a definitively inquisitive nature. I read a lot, I like to stay sharp. I'll always have a plan, a contingency, and a contingency in case the contingency fails and that's just who I am and the constant stress I grew up with. As far as my spirit goes, I've still got it. Without going into too much detail, unless you're terribly interested, I've gone through some very rough times in my life and modeling is something I can do with an underpinning logic and with the requisite amount of zazz. That's where you could say that comes from. Modeling is me exercising my artistic soul in a very particular way. So, long story short, is the confidence real: sometimes. It's like Schrodinger's cat.'
'I think I like modeling because I'm attracted to a number of different associated factors. There's no denying the appeal of a transgressive element in appearing naked in such a weirdly puritanical modern, industrialized society. But I've also always been attracted to mediums that acknowledge the synthesis and interplay between them. For example, I love comic books. They're often described, albeit somewhat simplistically, as a combination between drawn art and written prose. Video games are similar and probably my favorite artistic medium, incorporating pieces from all sorts of art, (visuals, written word etc.), and adding in the interactivity of the player. Photo modeling is, again, a 'synthetic' medium, collaborative between model and photographer.'
As the strong, strapping fisherman pulled the net, and Glaucus within it towards him, the excited merman was praying this wouldn't be just a catch and release. It wasn't. For the next few hours, the merman and the handsome net caster played together along the shore, rolling in sand and waves and exploring each other's bodies and the feel of scale on skin.
As the darkness began to fade, and sun began to rise, Glaucus knew he had to return to safety of the sea. It wouldn't be long before the beach, and park behind it, became crowed with people who wouldn't look so kindly on the newly formed bond between mortal and merman. As Glaucus headed out into the water, his fisherman again pulled him towards him, this time not with a net, but with his strong, comforting arms.
How does this fairly tale end? Do Glaucus and the hunky fisherman live happily ever after? I began the story wth part 1, but for part 2, I'll leave it to Richard Rothstein's images to finish the fable. I will tell you Glaucus' journey is one of the first stories in Richard's focus on celebrating living out out loud and expressing his childhood fantasies from a homoerotic perspective.
Growing up, most of us crushed over the handsome prince, but those pesky princes seemed only interested in bedding fair maidens. If there was a gay character, he was usually the King's fool or the over the top villain, usually written as cartoonish, and usually not the least bit sexual.
'After having barely survived the arrogance and dominance of the the heteronormative narrative that dominates our society and dominates art. Mermaids. Pooh. I want mermen. I want a beautiful young twink Snow White kissed and swept away by a glorious prince on a white stallion (not mare). I want Prince Phillip awakening me with a kiss after the witch’s curse threw me into a coma.'
'I want gay Hercules vanquishing evil evangelicals and Islamist extremists. I want a twunk Goldilocks encountering three great big burly and hair muscle bears. And I want a lustful big bad wolf blowing three little pigs. That’s the new normal and I’m going to be part of the wave with my photography.'