Monday, April 27, 2020

Favorite Pic of the Day for April 28th

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~Check out today's BIRTHDAYS HERE:~

Now & Then

I knew when I watched Survivor: Philippines that Jonathan Penner was also an actor.  I didn't actually think I'd seen him in anything until watching a recent fundraiser for the pandemic.  Check out more of Jonathan's onscreen past on PAGE 2 HERE: 


Take Me To The World

Although it got off to a bumpy (and very late) start, last night's 90th birthday party, and celebration of the music of Stephen Sondheim was an incredible two plus hours of music and entertainment. The show was a fundraiser to benefit ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty). Although much of the post show press went (deservedly) to Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep, and Audra McDonald's 'Ladies Who Lunch', the entire show was outstanding.

I especially enjoyed seeing, and hearing, Lea Salonga and Elizabeth Stanley and it was also wonderful seeing Chip Zien singing 'No More' from Into The Woods.  I also loved Chip's not so subtle comparison of the show;s giant, ( who destroys the kingdom) to a certain orange haired ogre like douche bag.

My favorite performance of the night though had to be Josh Groban singing both 'Children Will Listen' and 'Not While I'm Around.'  There is nothing hotter than talent, and Josh's voice always hits me in a variety of places.  I also love the beard he's been rocking of late.  I could listen to his smooth, powerful instrument all night long.  If you missed the show, the entire show featuring so many Broadway greats is on Youtube HERE:

No Tell Motel: Naked Ambition by Brady James Photo

'There's a sign on the wall
'Lovin' At Your Own Risk'
If it don't have what you want
Love what you wish'

Hotels and motels have always had romantic, or maybe more raunchy, reputations.  Honeymoons, and romantic rendezvous,  intimate and illicit encounters and wild sex with nameless strangers.  In all of those scenarios however,  the visual illustrations are usually of a couple, at least two individuals, though maybe more....  But... what if you're alone.  Motels can still provide a sensuous experience even if it the illicit encounter.. is with yourself. 

Even before we had forced physical distancing, a night alone in a motel can provide the unique opportunity to explore areas of one's sexuality not normally delved into at home.  A deep dive maybe, somewhere you don't usually go on your own....  These intimate, and often individual encounters were what came to mind when enjoying this series from art model George from Naked Ambition.

Many of you have enjoyed George's work previously on FH, both in front of, and behind the camera. For this series, George worked photographer Brady James, a photographer he had previously worked with on a clothed, outdoor shoot.  At the end of that shoot, George let Brady know that when they got together next, he like to do a nude shoot if that was OK with him.

It obviously was.  When Brady visited Fresno earlier this year, they met up at Brady's motel for a more sensual shooting experience than their previous fashion focused shoot allowed.  69 George is used to being naked, he often poses for photographers and art classes.  When posing in front of a group of students however, his goal is usually to avoid an erection.  For this shoot, he wanted to ensure he had one, so in addition to usual prep work, he made a point of popping of an E.D pill an hour before the shoot.  Best to be prepared!

Rural Decay: Jacob by Studio1x

'The sight is a familiar one along dusty back roads in the country: an old roofless silo left to the elements along with decaying barns, chicken coops and stone homesteads. This is the landscape of rural abandonment that define regions that have struggled with generations of exodus.'

I think it was the work of StudioMGphotography that first sparked my love of urban decay.  Area's of abandonment, left to rot and decay, sadly, and painfully slowly over time.  These location were mostly forgotten, even when plain site.  It's fascinating how something so visually immense can be ignored with the passage of time.

Living in the country, I've seen for myself that architectural abandonment is not just an urban phenomenon.  Almost daily, I pass rundown and abandoned homes, and maybe most frequently barns.  Barns once filled with cows or chickens are now filled with nothing but garbage and unused open spaces.

There was once an old home near where I work.  It was a huge old hundred year old plus mansion, right outside the town, but visually protected by a row of pine tree's.  I used to visit that house often when out walking the dogs.  It had an eerie feel, not because it was so big, but because of what was left inside.

Although filled with dust and cobwebs, it was also filled with the belongings of the previous inhabitants.  The appliances and large pieces of furniture were missing, but there were chairs, tables and bookcases.  To make things even more creepy, those bookcases still had books in them, mostly children's books, those tables had plates and cups on them and the walls, the were filled with family photos.

It was a large family, father, mother and grandmother and at least seven kids.  The house looked as if the family bolted quickly one night, leaving with only the clothes on their back.  There were plenty of stories, plenty of rumors, of a murder, of disease, of running from the law or from debt.  What was so fascinating about that house was how those belongings remained intact for so many years.

No matter how many looky loo's, no many how many photographers or dog walkers toured the abandoned dwelling, those pieces of furniture remained, those books stayed in the bookcases, and those pictures remained on the walls.  It was almost as if everyone, even those weekend  partiers, had too much respect, or maybe too much fear... to destroy or move the families items from the rooms and walls.

Years later, the items would be gone, not removed, but burned in a fire that destroyed the home.  I think often of that house, that home, and the family that once lived there.  I've thought about it even more lately, given the current state of isolation.  Driving through my town is odd, eerie in the same way walking through that house was.  Most of our towns and city's are quiet, abandoned, like everyone got up and fled in the middle of the night.

While enjoying this series of images, my mind went back to that home, and the many abandoned houses, building and barns I've passed by and visited over the years.  FH readers know Jacob from his work with Studio1x from his recent Easter visit. (The Golden Egg)  Studio1x's Jim discovered this particular location, an abandoned dairy farm, last summer and spent the day there with Jacob and another model.

One of the things I love most about images of the male form shot in abandoned spaces is how their energy and naked bodies, bring spaces back to life, even if just for a moment.  I love the many spaces that Jim used within the shoot and the many angles and ways he captured Jacob.  I love how how Jacob's beautiful eyes seem to channel the many spirits enmeshed in the barns history.