I like Harry Connick Jr, as both a singer and maybe even more so as an actor. So good in Little Man Tate, so adorable in New In Town and so incredibly creepy in the often overlooked thriller Copycat. I also, like may enjoyed is fresh approach on the first couple of weeks of the new season of AI. What began as fresh however, quickly has gone stale. I would say Connick is trying to copy Cowell, but it is clear he is trying to be 'real' putting far too much energy into being witty rather than helpful. His negative schtick and musical terms may be intended to have him look smart, but for me they do just the opposite. I can almost see Connick after the show, back at his hotel room salivating at all of the witty remarks he made. AI needs honesty, Keith Urban actually does a pretty good job with that, and without all of Connick's bravado.
Although I pretty much stuck by my vow to avoid watching the Olympics (except for a couple of cheats with the hockey finals) I was not completely able to avoid the charms of many of the Olympians. At the top of that list are American's Joss Christensen, Nick Goepper and Gus Kenworthy who dominated the Freestyle Skiing Men's Ski Slopestyle. 22 year old Joss, who took the Gold, Nick, who will be 20 next month, the bronze and 22 year old Gus, who won the silver.
Soon after their win, the adorable trio took off on a victory tour which included heading to New York for a promotional blitz of appearances on NBC talk shows including Hoda & Kathie Lee and Late Night With David Letterman. Their smiling faces will also adorn a limited edition box of corn flakes.
Josh & Nick
It is not really surprising these three hotties made such a splash. Adorable face, great abs and a 1, 2 3 punch of medals for the US early in the game sweeping their event. It also didn't hurt that Gus garnered so much press early on for his desire to help out the stray puppies living on the streets of Sochi.
And they called it puppy love
Just because we're in our teens
Tell them all, please tell them it isn't fair
To take away my only dream
Gus may be young, but he is not dumb. His model good looks, outgoing personality and love of puppies ensured his pretty face was seen throughout the media, even outlets not specifically covering the games. Kenworthy may not have won the gold, but he did win the award for causing the most buzz on social media, especially over his love of the pups. Some are reporting he may be a bit of a dog himself, but regardless the 22 year old is following through with the red tape and paperwork required to bring several of the pups home to live with he and his mom and several members of his family.
One of the things that has always appealed to me about images of the male form is the element of risk. Anytime one puts themselves out there, a reaction follows. The hope of course is that people react to what you have expressed. Positive is great of course, but even a negative reaction means people were paying attention. The worst response really has to be no reaction at all. An apathy or indifference to the thing you poured your heart into.
There are particular risks associated with photographing men, especially half naked men. For the model, the risks are clear, their image is literally bare. Open for everyone to react to and judge. Posing sans clothes, may have repercussions in both their personal and professional lives. These may occur immediately, or many years down the road. For the artist, although not as seen or visible, the risks can often be as naked as the model posing in front of their lens. In most really strong images, what is you see, is what the photographers wants you to. The final image may say less about the front man, than it does about the invisible partner who captures him.
The risk is one of the reasons I take my site so seriously. The sense of risk is not only one of the reason so many images appeal to me, but also a major reason I respect the artists behind them. When I first profiled Mark Bower from Studios Kouros back in 2011, I titled the piece Dangerous Diversions. I used the word danger for a number of reasons, for the literal danger of the completely naked Kairon on the motorcycle, to the more emotional based danger expressed through the eyes of Mark's subjects. Many photographers masterfully capture moments, many others movement. What stands out to me about Mark's work is his ability, through a still image to capture risk, that on the edge feeling I associate with both the risk and vulnerability associated with creating strong and erotic artist images.
A look through the portfolio of Studio Kouros will display it clearly. The men Mark captures are masculine and strong, yet unprotected, trusting in the artist as they expose a piece of themselves. Mark has been on both sides of the camera and understands this risk, as well as the rewards for both the model and photographer. 24 year old fitness model P-JAY took the risk and I love the outcome and resulting images. I especially P-JAY's intensely beautiful eyes and how different his face and body appear based on what angle they are captured at. It is clear from his physique, he works hard too maintain it. Mark describes P-JAY as very chill guy, comfortable in his own skin and indeed very serious about his body. Mark has free weights available for models to use and midway through the shoot P-JAY did an intense session to bring out the definition in his arms and abs.
Mark is currently at work on a book series that will be a collection of hardcover editions emphasising his work capturing the male physique. I will keep you updated on their progress but in the meantime, spend some time checking out more of Studio Kouros on ModelMayhem HERE: