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  • The Transformative Power of Art

    Russell portrait nakedI think I have reached a tipping point with my art and this project. I now have subjects to shoot every afternoon; it feels great to constantly be exploring new ideas. Several months ago when I started this project it felt like I could not find a single soul to work with and it had become a constant frustration of scheduling things and not have anyone show up. Today I am right where I want to be. I have so many people talking to me about art and my vision as an artist. It’s remarkable. I have to reprint part of a conversation I am having with a man from Paris:

    “There are lots of wonderful things in what you do. Have you studied history of art? From an European point of view, your project, the picture of body studying, show a modern point of view of the studies of shade, contrasts, shapes, the refinement of the muscles movement and use of the position of each one during your choices of scene to show by this the beauty of a line, of an effort, of virility, on each one, one can see that you chose to make the model move that way rather that that one to show his best for a better transmission of your messages these being super creative and artistic. In terms of lightning you use very well the effects on the muscle contraction or inflation or rest. Same for the taint of the skin, hair, eyes, features of each person you know how to put it forward. Great stuff congrats! All these show men as human beautifully being without coming into the cliché and stereotypes and that’s one major point I love with your work: beauty, pure beauty research though body movement, expressions, textures, scenarios, choice of model with personality and creativeness out of the “déjà vu” and standards and not a drop of vulgarity which unfortunately many men’s photographers do. Please continue. Cheers. François”

    People are finally beginning to get what I have been trying to do for years now. It is an amazing time to come together as creative artists and redefine the homoerotic art form; to make it personal, intimate, and sensual. We tend to forget that beauty actually resided within the person and not on the exterior. We often do not see this beauty because; first we are not looking for it and second we are too guarded with our lives to allow others to see who we are. I have been working with a series of models this week to explore that very notion, to uncover to get to the root of who they are. I like to find subjects who do not have a very good perception of themselves. For some it is very difficult and takes a great deal of time to get to that moment of release, of letting go, of trusting within ones self, admiring, respecting, and breathing. The subject is not always aware of the connection at the moment, but I can see it emerge and this is what I desperately wait to capture. When the subject eventually comes back to look at the images, they then recognize it, and most often are quite emotional to see that I have captured something within them, an inner beauty they have always felt and longed for, but feared to acknowledge. These feelings are overwhelming and become trans-formative in the vision of ones self.

    Russell lying naked on sofaMy biggest question is why do we not see ourselves for the beauty we are? We are all amazing creations, but somehow become blinded as we grow up and mature. I certainly still deny seeing it within myself. I spent many years struggling with self-doubt, completely unable to see my true identity. If someone had shown me this kind of mirror of myself at that age, would my life have been different? Would it have eased the self loathing and fear I had, that created a monster within me that has so often almost destroyed my existence and derailed my path. Much of my life feels like it has been a pinball game, bouncing, whirring, colliding, unsure of the outcome, but knowing I would end up losing that ball back into the machine from where it began. It is time for all of us to take control and stop buying into all this false security we are presented in commercial media, porn, and drug escapists denial and redefine our selves as a culture that looks deeper, into the personality and complexity of the individual to recognize and accept all our shortcomings and faults. I am tired of being afraid and my art is an exploration to change it.

    VIEW FULL IMAGE: Russell #128
    VIEW FULL IMAGE: Russell #147

     

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