'I was in Barcelona on a night out with some friends, and this woman came over and asked me if I was a model or an actor. I said I was just a student. Then she asked me to do a porn film. '
Sex workers don't get enough respect, nor are they usually afforded the same rights and safety associated with most other jobs and careers. Much of this may have to do with how misunderstood the profession is, something the new UK reality show Student Sex Workers wants to address. The claims one in twenty British students have entered into some form of sex work in order to fund their studies. Luke is one of them.
The 21 year-old physics student was literally whisked off his feet and onto the screen by director Erika Lust, who cast him in two of her films. Luke (Kristopher Kodjoe) says he wasn't so much shocked as intrigued at the prospect and after weighing the pros and cons, as well as the risks and potential safety issues. Luke finding decided that the money he could make working a few days in porn would allow him to focus on school without the hundreds of hours he would to put into another job to make the same amount of cash.
Sex work is a serious business, as are the issues involved. Putting the word 'student' into anything involving sex usually brings in an audience, and although I haven't seen the show yet, I hope there's some education thrown in with the obvious titillation that goes along with producing a reality show.
Last year, I had the privilege of featuring the work of artist Abigail Ekue. (In A Personal Light) Abigail is is the process of curating a male nude photo exhibit and is currently looking for submissions for Bare Men: The Group Show.The exhibit will showcase photo imagery which celebrates all expressions of the male nude - sensuality, grace, strength, vulnerability and sexuality.
Abigail welcomes submissions from all genres of male nude photography , classical, fine art, self portraits, fashion or glamour, erotic, outdoor/nature or urban, conceptual, dance et al. Artists at any stage of their career can submit. POC and LGBTQ photographers are encouraged to submit their work. International submissions are accepted as well,. Abigail has already received work from Canada, Australia and France.
The exhibit will take place in New York this October and submissions are welcomed through August 10th. Read more about the exhibit, and summit your work HERE:
Often it's an artist's own words that perfectly sum up what initially drew me to their work. In the case of photographer and media practitioner Haruehun Airry's, his use of the phrase 'purest form' which beautifully captured what I feel when spending time with Haruehun's imagery.
I love exploring Asian culture, and love featuring Asian artists and models. It can however, be difficult at times to find subjects to feature. In part, it's cultural, customs and laws with regards to nudity, especially male nudity, differs depending where in the world you live and work. It's not just Asian culture that plays a role in how the male Asian form is presented, North American stereotypes is also a contributor.
In America, Asian men continue to be pushed into traditional stereotypes, often as either asexual, or over sexual, unassertive domestics or violent gang members or a karate chopping Jackie Chan. Historically, Asian models have often been forced to take on one of these roles, especially Asian men in the media.
We all know however, that Asian men, like all men, have varying degree's of sensuality, aggression, passion and masculinity. Stereotypes rarely represent those they represent and I love how Haruehun Airry ignores media convention and so purely captures the essence of the men in front of his camera. It's obvious Haruehun doesn't just capture male beauty, but has a passion and a distinct eye for it.
Haruehun's images are precise, beautifully detailed and fully composed images of the model in front of his lens. Haruehun's lighting and poses beautifully highlights every inch of the model he's shooting, the smoothness of their skin, the texture and softness of their lips and hair, both on their heads, an other parts of their body. Raised in a family of artists, Haruehun images of the male form are both powerful and erotically distinct, making the Thailand based artist in demand by both models and advertisers who choose his images to represent their products.
After earning a bachelor's degree in Communication Management from Chulalongkorn University. Haruehun's photography of the male form soon noticed and in addition to being widely published on Asian social media, has featured in man advertising campaigns, promotions as well as in books on the covers of many international magazines including Attitude and Men's Health.
The Process Piece:
Haruehun also uses his art, and his celebrity to support causes he believes in and in 2011 was appointed by the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre an advocate for a charity project called Adam′s Love which fosters comprehensive HIV/AIDS education.
Although it was Haruehun's unique skill at capturing his subjects in their purest form which first drew me to his work, it was also his course of creation that had me enjoying spending time on his Twitter and Instagram. FH readers know I love the process piece, and Haruehun publishes many behind the scenes images from his shoots.
It was hard to narrow down, but I wanted to include a few (ok, more than a few) favorite behind the scene shots in this piece. Through Haruehun's many BTS scenes shots and videos, we get see the artist and models at work. I love telling the story of an images creation, especially when that image is of the male form. More often than not, it's the process, and what occurs behind the scenes that reveals the most about how an artists works, and how that work results in the finished art that we all see.
'Male nudity. It is the most challenging to me. Some people say that because everyone loves seeing nudes, I don’t think so. Not everyone looks great in the nude. Making a man beautifully interesting is my priority. Sometimes I use photography to prove my point. Like if I find someone really attractive, while other people might think he’s just average, my photography will prove it.'