Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Favorite Pic of the Day for April 13th

-See More Below-

~Check out today's BIRTHDAYS HERE~

Seasonal Sightings:

Gang Bang

From your first cigarette 
To your last dyin' day.

I had originally intended on paying tribute to West Side Story a weeks ago as part of my Academy Awards posts (HERE:) I didn't have the time then though, to do the research I wanted to do for the piece. My passion for the musical began when I was a kid.  I remember going with my older brother to see a High School Production that his then girlfriend was in.

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. West Side Story was conceived by Jerome Robbins with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents. The amateur High School production that I saw began an obsession with both the show and it's music.   I was only about 9 or 10 at the time and although I didn't initially seek out the movie, I found a copy of the original Broadway soundtrack in our school's library. 

Although we weren't allowed to take out music, we could listen to it in one of the library's cubicles.  I signed out that soundtrack dozens of times, listening to Larry Kert, (Tony) Carol Lawrence, (Maria), Michael Callan, (Riff) and especially Chita Rivera (Anita) over and over and over again.  The original Broadway soundtrack remains my favorite version of the music from the show.

2020 Broadway revival

Check out my tribute to West Side Story, including many of the actors who've played Tony, Riff and Bernardo from the 1950's through the 2021 film adaptation  on the NEXT PAGE HERE:

2021 film cast

The Fitness Factory:

'You see sweat, I see a sexy glow...'

Alberto de Chirico: An Amatory Metamorphosis

'I'm intrigued by the natural, common and even unusual beauty... in any body shape and age.'

Sometimes when you discover one thing, it turns into something completely different.  That's exactly what happened after discovering the work of artist  Alberto de Chirico. The first images of Alberto's that I saw were straightforward studio shots. Simple, yet beautiful captures of a diverse variety of male models.  After diving into Alberto's expansive body of work, I discovered those studio shots were just the tip of the iceberg. 

In the animal world changes can often be dramatic.  Tadpoles morph into frogs and caterpillars into butterflies.  These metamorphosis' reflect growth and lead to increase in size, color and visual beauty. Not all changes however, lead to growth and beauty.  In the world of science fiction, change is often degenerative, the mutation of a once magnificent form into something grotesque and horrifying.

Mutation might seem like an odd word to use to describe the change in an artist's style of work, but once you get to know artist Alberto de Chirico, I think you'll agree that it fits. In the film world, Alberto is known for his alter ego Domiziano Cristopharo and a quick glance at Cristopharo's IMDB page lets you all everything you need to know about his focus and passion.  

Some of Alberto's films include: House of Flesh Mannequins, Phantasmagoria, A Taste of  Phobia, Nightmare Symphony and The Obsessed.  With those creative titles, you might have guess the Italian director loves the blend of horror and eroticism. Weaving together fetishism with art adds an erotic element of risk that is incredibly unique and visually compelling.  

Alberto's current work is a  colorful blend of beauty with the macabre  As I explored Alberto's work, I could see, and almost feel the subtle changes over time.  The metamorphosis of his work was not just one change, but a series of changes shifting his imagery from those early studio shots into it's current incarnation.  With splashes of color as well as the addition of props and elements of fetishism, Alberto's work transformed into the LIGHT PAINTING technique his work is now known for.

LIGHT PAINTING is a photography technique that uses a moving light source (e.g., a flashlight) to add light to a subject while taking a long-exposure photograph. A scene or object can be brought to life by painting with a beam of light. When light painting, the photographer, become an entirely different kind of artist. Instead of just capturing an image as it’s presented, he create the image that the camera is capturing. 

Alberto began his creative journey at the age of 14.  Alberto, along with one of his good friends, shared the passion, but not the tools, to get properly started.  To solve this issue, he began his studies at a school for the fine arts. While most of their other friends were out partying, Alberto and his friend would spend their weekends together exploring their passion.  When his friend's brother didn't heed his camera, a YASHICA, they invested their time improving their photography techniques.

'Our first subjects where still life, with a particular attention to special FX and of compositing and dioramas creations. After few years we started posing naked for each others exploring the study of the male figure. I continued  posing as nude model also in the Academy of Fine Arts, and later began a career of actor and dancer (involving nudity as well on stage and in films).'

Alberto began shooting professionally in the late 80's, just before Photoshop was available.  In addition to shooting 'simple' studio shots, Alberto loved to manipulate and create something visually special during the developing phase of the process.  This began the his experimentation with various techniques, eventually perfecting in his unique and personal way, his LIGHT PAINTING technique. 

'I love the concept that what we see is actually painted manually by the light, in the way that I want. Of course for arrive to the final picture there are infinite attempts... is a challenge for me as photographer... My pictures appears almost light illustrations or daguerreotypes. Thanks also to the touches of body paint that I add for create a more pictorial effect on the skin.'

Alberto's success with LIGHT PAINTING has led to his fine art photography being the subject of CD covers, film posters, and various exhibitions.  His much  much-sought-after art  resides on thousands of walls and in many private collections.