'You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead.'
Much like those Christmas and Easter church goers, FH tends to get more spiritual during the religious holidays. Some might think images of the nude male form and religion don't go together, but I believe the opposite. 'Thou shall not enjoy images of the naked body' wasn't one of the ten commandments, in face, except for adultery, and coveting thy neighbour's wife, sex and nudity were not really made a priority.
When I was a kid, I attended church every Sunday morning with my family. We had to, at least until we were 12. I was baptized, confirmed, went to Sunday school and sang in the church's Christmas concerts. At 12, I stopped going every week, but that changed when I got a little older. When I was about 15, I crushed over a girl who went to church every Sunday morning, every Sunday evening, not to mention youth focused services on Tuesday evening. Given I was searching for something, including who I was, I started attending with her. This lasted about a year.
The foundations were planted though. Between weekly attendance with my parents, and clapping and speaking in tongues with my Jr. High School 'girl friend', the religious connections between life, death and love became a part of my life. My faith has waivered for sure, but never to the point of stopping believing entirely. Regardless of your faith, or whether you believe at all, Christmas and Easter are religiously rooted and a theme I like to explore from time to time on the site.
Last year, the mix of religion and raunch wasn't really planned. My Easter posts were mostly done when I came upon a powerful image just before Easter. The image featured UK based model Bas shot by photographer Jan Deuzeman. Sometimes, it takes days or week to connect with a model and photographer and put together a piece. Thankfully both Bas and Jan responded quickly and I was able to feature the images last Easter. (Crown of Thornes) Although Jan doesn't shoot many faith based shoot, a prop inspired the theme and his shoot with Bas. When I was thinking of this year's holiday, I was curious whether Jan was again returning to the theme.
When I heard back from Jan, he hadn't yet done a shoot for this year, but had one planned the following week. He graciously agreed to share the results when they were complete. This year, the model with the cross was Rene. Rene travels around Holland for modeling jobs, working with different photographers on his journeys. Rene shared with Jan that this would be first time doing a religious themed shoot.
'My idea was that sometimes people are trapped in their religion and beliefs. They can't be who they want to be. They hold the cross as a kind of hope and trust,. The rope acts to limit his life, but as soon as the rope falls off, he believes in his own way, who he is, and he begins to live.'
Some you might remember meeting Trevor Smith last July. Jim from Studio1x introduced FH viewers to Trever, in his stars and stripes speedo, last July 4th. In that piece, (Sacred Symbols) Trevor shared the stories behind his body art and how he loved owning something that couldn't be taken.
I was a bit late this year asking Jim about Easter. It was only about two weeks ago I asked if he had any scheduled shoots that he might be able to turn into a Easter Theme. Fortunately Jim had several shoots planned, and given Trevor was aware of FH, and my love of holiday themed imagery, he graciously got his basket ready, filled it treats, and put on the bunny ears.
When I saw Jim's shots of Trevor, especially given the holiday, I couldn't help but thinking of egg painting and those paint by number kits I received at Easter and Christmas when I was a kid. Painting eggs is a very meticulous activity, requiring great care to ensure you don't crack the shell. Tattooing is an equally painstaking art form, one that requires great attention to each and every stroke and detail.
Given Trevor's body is already a piece of art, there is really no need for an amateur artists like myself to muck things up. But... those paint by numbers kits are designed for amateur's, as of way of practicing, and learning to stay between the lines. Given Trevor's body art was primarily created with dark ink, I couldn't help but fantasize about adding a little color...
What a landscape Trevor's body is, and wouldn't it be fun to spend Easter with Trevor's Easter basket, and an array of colorful paints to fill in all the open spaces and gaps.... Body paint of course, something he could easily wash off with a quick shower after play time was over.
'I’ve dedicated a lot of time and resources to this art project....'
FH readers with a keen memory, might make a connection with the wooden bunny that Trevor's holding in some of the images. Back in 2018, there was a similar wooden art piece in another of Jim's holiday shoots. In that shoot, (HERE:) it wasn't a bunny but a set of wooden pilgrims. Jim has a collection of wooden art in the corner of his garage, and although he hadn't planted on using it, when Trevor spotted them, he picked up the bunny to use in some of the shots.