I saved an image of a model a few years ago and tucked it away in my 'vintage' folder. The models name was Jerry Mansfield and I knew he had modeled for Colt Studio's. I saved the image mostly because of his mouth. Yes, his body was mouth watering, but there was something about the curl of his lips, the shape of his mouth... I think most of you know what I mean, it had a bit of the 'awe shucks' factor.
I have learned from experience that having the 'awe shucks' factor doesn't necessarily mean innocent or naive, in fact, in can be an incredibly dangerous quality in a man. There is nothing more unpredictable than an innocent face on a not so innocent man....
Searching for more shots of Jerry Mansfield didn't give me much. That was until I discovered that was only his credit when modeling for Colt. When modeling elsewhere, he went by the name Lloyd Beardsley, the credit he used when modeling for some early 70's spreads in Playgirl.
The California based model attended John Muir High School, Pasadena CA, class of 1963. After graduation, Jerry, or Lloyd, went on to med school. Not sure if Lloyd ended up practicing medicine, but it appears he died young, while still in his 40's.
I couldn't agree with Phil more. Beautiful naked bodies can provide inspiration, stimulation and have brought joy to everyone at one time or another. Unfortunately, even in 2019, nudity still inspires so such fear and repression in some. We have become desensitized to violence, rapes, murders, cruelty and torture air 24/7 on television, yet a pop stars nipple still has the power to cause an uproar.
It almost seems that for some parents, it's easier accept their child as a crime victim, rather to than to envision them as a healthy and driven sexual human being. This sad contradiction still plays itself out in so many ways within politics, entertainment and the media and in the unrelenting and unhealthy messages our children continue to be exposed to. Challenging these messages is at the core of what inspires Phil within his work.
'"Why is cock worse than death?" I have been asking myself this question for years and it's something I would like to change. If you turn on the TV and watch any mainstream channel - it doesn't matter at which time during the day - you are almost guaranteed to see a gun within the first half hour. But what you'll definitely not see on TV within a half-hour at any time of the day is a penis. A gun, which implies death, somehow came to be a socially accepted commonplace image. A penis on the other hand, which (ideally) implies pleasure, is something that's hardly ever shown on TV.'
'It's the 21st century, and if we hope to live in a progressive and happy world, what I would like to see more of is male nudity and less gore. I believe that taking men out of their uniforms and freeing them from their repressive shirts and ties and showing them as they are will take some power away from the men who don't deserve power and use their "clothed authority" to impose status and to manipulate and repress others. I think that clothed men are what makes us stuck in a pretty harsh and sterile "man's world". So in my opinion, one of the answers to bringing balance and making the world a more beautiful, inspiring and happy place is getting men out of their clothes.'
One of the ways Phil celebrates the beauty of the male form is through showcasing his work on his new website Bodytorium. Currently living in Bratislava, the Slovak-Canadian photographer's focus is capturing naturally handsome men like the the incredible Dominik. Phil was impressed the moment they first moment they met.
'One of my sexy masculine straight friends brought over Dominik to a burger dinner at my condo. He is yet another charming Slovak blond boy. Hot, but not cold and distant. I photographed Dominik about a month later and he was the most confident and easygoing guys I have photographed. It was as if he did every day. I barely had to give him any directions. He just came up with poses, never hesitated and genuinely enjoyed the experience. Dominik was the first guy I photographed for my new site Bodytorium and he made me feel like things were off to a good start.'
'My favorite shot of Dominik is the shot (above) where he is standing and holding the water level meter. The photograph looks simple, casual, natural and sexy to me. His thumb is on number nine, his left hand is on his ass. He is leaning in a very relaxed way and his face has a mysterious Mona Lisa expression.'
'When I photograph naked men, I build a friendship, I build comfort and trust, or at the very least a friendly rapport with the model. Personally I have slowly eased into photographing nudes over the years, although I never fully got completely used to it, and I hope I never get completely used to it. Even after shooting nudes many times, I still feel a bit awkward and shy - but also very excited. I can't imagine a photo shoot being emotionless or not being fun.'