'Berlin is a city of contrasts. In one way it looks like so many other capital cities with its shopping malls and designer names. Look deeper and you see signs of the past. A number of buildings still fully bear the scars of the hail of shrapnel and bullets which flew towards the end of the Second World War.'
Eion Johnston's Berlin in Stone uses a creative, contemporary photographic approach to create two bodies of work inspired by the history of Berlin. Berlin 1945 addresses the human suffering in the days of war in Berlin as both combatants and civilians stood effectively naked against the onslaught. The Wall is a visceral portrayal of humanity trapped by a historical situation. Eion will be opening a little self organised and financed exhibition with tryptics from these series for a week beginning Tuesday September 11.
'During the two recent shootings Eion took pictures both of me and my Chinese flatmate. He later photoshopped them to become a series of pictures of walls in Berlin with bullit hole traces from the second world war (Berlin stones) and, in a second series, of pictures where the remains of the Berlin wall, in their partly chopped down state, merge with our bodies. All in all I find both most remarkable.'
'Another twenty eight years have passed since the wall was mostly demolished. There are a number of sections still visible, in some cases as memorials to this time. In visiting Berlin many times over the period since that wall was demolished, I have noticed how the remaining sections started to disintegrate physically with the reinforcing metal rods now appearing at and above the surface of the concrete. The ambiguous nature of the images is reflected by the two meanings of ‘A wall to keep people in’.
Every season I look forward to the premiere of American Horror Story. I'm usually disappointed... I feel like Ryan Murphy and his shows are a bit like Lucy and that football. Just as I'm excited for a touchdown, Murphy yanks that football away leaving me disappointed. It's not that Murphy doesn't create some incredible TV, he is brilliant at bringing concept to the screen and creating riveting first seasons. Sustaining quality however, is usually the issue. Murphy does well when he puts his focus on one season and one concept as he did with last years Feud.
McDermott and Peters on set for Apocalypse
I loved the first three seasons of AMS, Coven, and especially Murder House and Asylum were my favorites. I love the characters and cast (Evan Peters in particular) and the story driven horror each story and setting created. Re-watching a few episodes of Murder House recently reminded me how slowly and thoughtfully the story was unveiled with the violence a way to drive it forward.
McDermott in Murder House
By the time Freak Show aired, it felt the writers and producers were relying more on gratuitous violence and shock more than real terror from the circumstance created by story. I expect violence from AHS, I have no issue with it. The mass shooting at the end of Freak Show however seemed a manipulative and easy way to ensure the season ended with a bang. It also undid all of the good work that led up to it.
There has been a mass shooting in almost every season of AHS, and the cruelty and torture elements were off the charts last season in Cult. So much so, I stopped watching after about the third episode. AHS always blended a bit of comedy and wit, along with fascinating characters and great writing. Evan Peters acted his ass off, but the show itself was to me, unwatchable.
But... again this season I am heading back to give kicking that football a chance. I am (was) excited about the merge of Murder House and Coven and revisiting old characters and places I enjoyed in previous seasons. The title Apocalypse , and the preview that I saw however, tells me the show is more than just a group of interesting witches visiting a hot guy in a fetish leather suit....
Peters in Asylum
I am happy Peters is back, along with old favorites Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton and Jessica Lange are back but I am still wary. I'm tempering my expectations and time will tell whether this season will be a touchdown, (like almost every first season of a Murphy show) or a foul, (Popular season 2 anyone?) only time will tell.
One of the things I love about the work of photographer Gordon Nebeker is the way in which he incorporates elements of architecture and design witin his work. It's not so much an overarching theme,it's more organic. The natural way Gordon observes and weaves bodies and form with structures and environment.
If you check out Gordon'w work with Austin during their Mexico shoot, (HERE: & HERE:) you will not only see a beautiful blend of human with architecture, you'll also notice how Gordon contrasts and captures the lines of body with the line of the brick, marble, walls and building surrounding them.
Gordon's eye for parallel proportion, shape and design are a foundation of his work regardless of whether he's shooting on location, in studio or within his own home. It appears with every model, in every shoot, set in a mansion in Mexico, the Utah mountains, or a coffee table in his living room. In some of my recent features on Gordon's work, I have focused and loved so many of the shots of models on Gordon's furniture. The coffee, dining room and end tables, the couch, the chairs, even the pass-through island between Gordon's kitchen to the dining that Bond so beautifully posed and reclined on.
One of the pieces of furniture that has visually grabbed me is Gordon's round wooden coffee table. When I was profiling Gordon's work with Austin, I commented that Austin reminded me of a sensual sun dial the way he was posed upon the table. The round table, not to mention the lines and waves within it's design, make a beautiful backdrop for the nude male bodies that pose upon it.
When Gordon sent on his recent shoot with Yorgen earlier this summer, there were two beautiful shots of Yorgen on the table. I had noticed the table before, and wanted to make it the focus of a piece, and the two shots of Yorgen provided the stimulus to move forward with the theme. It also had me asking Gordon if he stocked up on Pledge during his Costco runs....
'I purchased the table when we moved into our townhouse there four years ago. I was using an Art Deco theme as inspiration for the decoration and exotic figured wood pieces were the rage during the Art Deco period so when I found that new custom made Art Deco style table on line, I knew it would be perfect for the space! I absolutely love it and it makes everything I set on it, including nude men, look even better!'
In so many of Gordon's images images, the model uses the table not only to inspire their pose, creating beautifully circular shapes. The Art Deco styled table is used as more than just a backdrop, but also a foundation for the body positions created upon it.