'Forget the last arrow, only the next will count.'
Most contemporary incarnations of the male form had their origins in mythology and with the Gods. Whether it be iconic holiday characters, classic sculptures or paintings, or the poses captured by so many of the artists that feature. Cupid, one of the most famous symbols of Valentine's, originates from two historical mythologies.
In Roman mythology, Cupid is the son of Venus, the Goddess of love. In Greek mythology, he was known as Eros, the son of Aphrodite was known as the God of love and sexual desire. According to Roman mythology, Cupid fell madly in love with Psyche despite his mothers jealousy over Psyche's beauty. Although most Greek Gods don't use their bow and arrow to shoot the love power, they hold connections to the Cupid's current incarnation.
Apollo mocked the god of love, Eros for his use of bow and arrow. Apollo was also patron of archery and taunted Eros with insults. 'What are you doing with powerful weapons, naughty boy...' Angry an insulted, Eros prepared two arrows: one of gold and one of lead. He shot Apollo with the gold arrow, instilling in the god a passionate love for the river nymph Daphne. He shot Daphne with the lead arrow, instilling in her a hatred for Apollo.
Many FH readers may remember my previous piece featuring London based photographer Statuesque, and his work with the Barleycorn Triplets. (The Three Graces) The images of Teucer and Apollo were a part of the photographic essay Statuesque was inspired the artist's lifelong love of sculpture and his feeling that it continues to be undervalued as an art form. 'It doesn’t have quite the same status as painting, and the crudest measure of this is the price mechanism. To acquire old master paintings you need to spend millions; a collection of fine piece of sculpture can be assembled for thousands. Sculpture is a very public art form. No one would dream of leaving a valuable painting exposed to the elements, be we walk past statues, monuments and memorials in the street, sometimes paying them no more attention than the lamp-posts.' Teucer
'The idea behind Statuesque was to interpret great works of sculpture, ancient and modern, through the medium of photography: to bring the statues down off their plinths and into our world. To do justice to the magnificent works of art I had chosen, I needed a model whose body looked like a work of art in itself, and I found one in Danny. His magnificent physique made him the perfect interpreter of iconic images of make beauty like the Apollo Belvedere and Teucer.' There was a problem with the bow in both images. I hired the props and costumes for the shoot from the National Theatre in London, but the only bow they could produce was so small it must have come from their recent production of Peter Pan. It certainly didn’t have a heroic feel about it. However my digital retoucher was able to isolate the bow from the photograph of the statuette of Teucer and put it into Danny’s hands for both photos.
Teucer is much more modern. Representing the great archer who fought with the Greeks at the siege of Troy, it was created as a life-size bronze figure by Hamo Thornycroft in 1882, and was so popular it was then turned into a sixteen-inch statuette for collectors.
The Apollo Belvedere is a Roman marble statue of the second century AD which was dug up in Italy in 1489. Its fame spread throughout Europe thanks to engravings, and it quickly established itself as the perfection of the ancient Greek ideal body.
There was a problem with the bow in both images. I hired the props and costumes for the shoot from the National Theatre in London, but the only bow they could produce was so small it must have come from their recent production of Peter Pan. It certainly didn’t have a heroic feel about it. However my digital retoucher was able to isolate the bow from the photograph of the statuette of Teucer and put it into Danny’s hands for both photos.
Danny had never done a nude shoot before and was initially quite nervous about it. However, he completely bought into the vision behind the project and really threw himself into it. We did a lot of shots of Teucer, which was my favourite image of the series, but I wasn’t quite satisfied, so when he was just about to leave the set, I asked if we could try one more. He went up on the balls of his feet, which had the effect of tightening his thigh muscles and created the perfect silhouette.
Tom returns to his hometown on the tenth anniversary of the Valentine's night massacre that claimed the lives of 22 people. Instead of a homecoming, Tom finds himself suspected of committing the murders, and it seems like his old flame is the only one that believes he's innocent.
For my Valentine's edition of 12 Days, I could have gone for a sappy,romantic Hallmark move, or a big screen rom-com, but FH viewers know how much I love the blend of holidays and horror. I've managed to find several Christmas and Easter horror films, but there aren't as many for February 14th.
When I started searching for Valentine themed horror movies, there was one film that kept topping the list. It was My Bloody Valentine, the 1981 Canadian slasher flick. I found a copy, although haven't watched, but soon relalized there was a 2009 re-mail featuring Jensen Ackles and Kerr Smith. When I saw there was male nudity in the film, I had to check it out.
Although it wasn't Ackles or Kerr who dropped trou, I wasn't disappointed in actor and screenwriter's Todd Farmerand his more than ample asset. Farmer co-wrote the screenplay and has a small role in the film. Like Hitchcock, Farmer has had cameo's in many of the films he's written including Jason X, Drive Angry and last year's Trick.
In My Bloody Valentine 3D, Farmer wrote and included one of the most gratuitous female nude scenes I've seen on film in awhile. I guess he sort of tried balanced it out by writing, and then taking on, a small part that also required him to show a little bit of skin. If you've seen the movie however, Farmer would have to show a whole lot more to equal what he put his scene partner through.,,,
'We write for actors and even down to the smallest character in the film, they all have their moment. You take that and you put it in a story that's in your face and there's tons of hardcore R action, nudity and you name it, but at the same time there really is a story there. It's got heart and at the end of the movie people will feel it. So I hope they'll their friends and want to see more.'
'All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.'
Charles M. Schulz
Given FH's focus on the male form, it's understandable that most of my previous Valentine's posts, have featured hot, naked holiday hunks. Valentine's Day however, isn't all about sex and romance. Although a passionate connection is at the core of the day, when you don't, or can't have the sensual...the sweet can make a mouthwatering substitute.
For kids, Valentine's is all about the candy. The candy necklaces, the sweet tarts and of course the many varieties of chocolate. The Hershey kisses, chocolate hearts and those heart shaped boxed filled with so many different tastes and textures. Romantic partners come and go, but no matter your age, chocolate has the power to always hit your sweet spot.
Carl certainly also possesses the requirements to take aim, and then shoot straight into your sweet spot. Initially, Carl looks like the perfect gentlemen, one whose good looks, and adorable face, could easily melt your heart. With his white dress shirt and bow tie, not to mention those flowers and chocolates in hand, Carl looks like the sweetest of Valentine dates.
As you can see from this series of images, beneath that top layer of sweetness, a second salty layer awaits. Jim from Studio1x, beautifully captured both sides of FH's Valentine hunk. The the sweet guy, who arrives at your door at the beginning of the night, and his more lascivious side, as Carl's clothes come off and the evening progresses.
Although Jim's final images perfectly capture Carl's sensual side, the planning of the shoot, more than spotlight the sweet. Carl had recently joined a model/photographer group that Jim belongs to, and he posted that he was looking to build his modeling portfolio.
Jim and Carl began planning for their shoot, and a date was set. Unfortunately, Carl's son became sick and they needed to reschedule. On the day that the shoot was rescheduled, Carl's car ended up in the shop, but he was determined to get there and told Jim he'd be there not mater what, even if it meant a long bus ride.
'Unfortunately, I don't have bus service to near my studio so I offered to come pick him up. By picking him up that gave us plenty of time to chat on our drive back to get to know each other. Noticing his accent, I had to ask where he was from. Carl shared that he grew up in England and moved to the US when in his teens.'
Jim describes Carl as not only sweet, but a pleasure to work with. Jim says that Carl was very enthusiastic, and open to trying different looks and creative styles including the Valentine theme for FH. The Valentine portion of the shoot was towards the end of the day, but by that time, they had already shot about ten different set-ups and looks. By then, Jim says they were in the groove and Carl was doing a fantastic job. If Jim's words and images weren't enough proof of Carl's sweetness, maybe he thoughts on the shoot would help seal the deal.
'The shoot was amazing and its definitely something I've always wanted to do and want to do more of For me, Valentine's means just appreciating and showing love to that significant other. If your single, you can still share that love and appreciation with and to your family and friends.'