I first gave FH readers a sneak peak of Brett Gleason's Expiration Date back in 2015. In the piece, (HERE) I was showcasing an article Brett had written for The Huffington Post entitled, 'Does Love Fade as we Grow Older'. Song writers often write about the beginning of love and the ending of love, but not as many write about the death of love. The loss, beyond the initial break up to the deep pain and internal grief that lasts far beyond the breakup. Check out Brett's new video for Expiration Date below and more of the full album on itunes and on Brett's official site.
'Brett Gleason is my personal Rock Star. I have never had a friend that I loved so much be as different from myself as he is. We have been photographer & favorite muse since 2010 and best friends just as long. He is definitely a part of my extended Cessna muse family, dudes that I can just chill out with smoking blunts, talking shit and just being as in the present as possible. Without them I would be a very lonely guy ;)'
If you have followed my features on Brett, you know the work of artist Walt Cessna. Walt has been photographing Brett for years, and I have featured many of his images over the years. The last image, Brett laying on the pink is one of my favorite images, both erotic and beautifully dramatic. Sadly Walt died last week and I wanted to pay tribute to his work by featuring some of my favorite shots of Brett.. Walt always managed to capture more than what was in front of him, his lens went beneath the eyes staring back at him to a hidden piece of the subjects soul.
Last month, I loved featuring photographer Calder Van Gogh's incredible shots of the delicious Rush Firestone. (A Defender's Debriefing) Although Rush had not appeared on FH before, a piece of material he was holding...had made a previous appearance. I didn't notice it right away, but Calder informed me after I posted the story, that the checkered cloth Rush was holding, played a role in one of my previous posts featuring his work.
'I sleep in the nude but I pull the sheets up.'
If any of you clicked the link back to my piece featuring Calder's images of Julian, (The Backyard) you may have noticed that same grey checkered cloth draped in front of, and around Julian's alluring loins. I initially thought it looked a little like a piece of a tablecloth, one made specifically for picnics or a picnic table. Certainly both Rush and Julian would an appetising picnic spread, but I was off on where the checkered cloth had come from.
For many models, when posing totally nude, it can often be comforting to have something to focus or hold on to. (Besides the obvious...) Much like a security blanket, holding a prop or piece of fashion can make it easier to stand there. Sometimes the prop's use is to conceal the goods, other times it is not used to cover, but can provide balance, or just to give a splash of color to an image.
Almost all of the men Calder shot with the cloth were doing full nudes, but sometimes it's nice to build up to the full Monty with some tease and implied shots. Instead of having his models put their hands over their junk, the checkered cloth has now made it's way into many of Calder's shoots over the years, starting with Julian's backyard shoot. The material was actually a sheet, one that Calder had used when he worked for a few years doing professional massages. Calder tore up the sheet, but it was brought back to life in Julian's capable hands.
'It became a bit of a "running joke" ... it was soft and fuzzy and incredibly ugly! haha... so at group shoots, the other togs would give me a "what the F are you doing?" look. But it was just a random prop and also sorta' a way to cover the "important parts" on the guy.'
Whether accidental, or with thought and intent, the checkered sheet isn't the only prop or personal item that I have seen weaveded within photos of the male form. Some photographers like to make their mark by including important or personal items like books or knick knacks into shoots. Some artists like to ensure that a certain painting or art piece makes it way into the background of a shot. .
Some artists even use fun items ranging from stuffed animals to rubber duckies into their shoots with many different models. Often the prop has a purpose, other times, it is simply to help the model feel more comfortable during the process. Pets also make their way into shots, sometimes planned, but with cats...usually not
I love seeing how each of the models use the sheet, and incorporate it within their shoot. It also provides for interesting and unique visuals. Some models hold in front of them, others like Manzo, wrap it around them, and I love how Gaston, creatively ties it around his body. Rob initially uses the sheet to conceal, making the ultimate reveal, even that much more impressive.
I don't think I will be rushing to the theatre to see Baywatch, my gut tells me Zac and The Rock will not be spending too much time in (or out) of speedos in the flick. But... this hint of Zac crack could bring about the need for little CPR.
'It never really dawned on me before watching Grinder how rare the male perspective about the consequences of selling yourself for sex is in film.'
Ali Naro (Over the Rainbow)
'Grinder is a story that is very close to my heart. Each year young men come to New York chasing after their dreams of becoming actors and models. These aspiring artists meet with various characters over the early parts of their career and it was my hope to breathe life into a few of these people. The seed for Grinder was planted when my long time business partner, Barney Oldfield, and I decided to make an LGBT film in December of 2013. In a typical Arkoff style approach we shot a prototype poster and came up with a title. A major influence on our selection of title was the famous cover of a woman going through a meat grinder illustrated by William Nirenberg for Hustler magazine. A Grinder seemed to be the perfect representation of what New York does to young talent in their first few years in town.'
Actor and writer Brandon Ruckdashel makes his directorial debut with Grinder, which has it's New York Premier this week! In Grinder, Luke (Tyler Austin), an innocent teenager, leaves his home in the suburbs and his abusive father (Jose Ramos) for the promise of a modeling job in New York City. Once there he meets Rich (Jon Fleming), an unscrupulous model agent and is dragged into the dark world of New York nightlife. Tim (Brandon Ruckdashel), a photographer who leads a double life in spite of being engaged to a young woman (Sarah Lazar), becomes obsessed with Luke and destroys his relationship with her. Grinder reflects Brandon's personal experience as a young actor coming to New York.
'Eleven men, eleven dancers, in a permanent state of nudity that underlines the diversity of their bodies and origins, throwing themselves, body and soul, into Anima Ardens.'
It wasn't just the site of 11 naked dancers that had me wanting to feature these images from Anima Ardens, (Burning Soul) it was the visual beauty of the men together, both on stage, and in photographs that had me wanting to find out more. One of things that I found out, was that one of the dancers was recently featured on FH. Curious as if anyone an spot him with out a search. Choreographed by Thierry Smits, Anima Ardens premiered last fall at Compagnie Thor in Brussels.
'Their dance will crescendo to the limits of trance practices, to a modified state of their bodies. Their goal is to reach a collective intense emotional climax, a poetic fury that will lead to a space of freedom: a place where even the spectator would breathe more freely, would let go and liberate himself from the weight of the present. Those men, those dancers, have been chosen deliberately by Thierry Smits; not for their technical virtuosity, but because they are all gifted with the feel for motion exploration which is at the centre of this production. They come from Belgium, Germany, Poland, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, France and United Kingdom.'
If you want to see more, there are a few more documentary and news videos surrounding the production on Youtube.
I don't know much about model Tierry Vilson except that he's Portuguese and that initial model agency contract was AModelMgmt located in Mexico. Tierry's Instagram is private, his Twitter basically inactive.
So why I am profiling Tierry, good question. As most of you know I saw that my interest in a model or artist usually begins with one image. In Tierry's case, it was an image of him on the runway during a fashion show. Tierry's fashion was a skimpy white jockstrap which looked a little pinkish in the light. The only other 'fashion' he was wearing was a large black art piece on his shoulder, strapped around his chest. Further investigation has me sure the art piece is a snake slithering down a tree.
The image intrigued me as it reminded me of something a female model might be wearing in a Victoria's Secret show. I always thought it would be great to see a male version of that show with male models in wings and headpieces. After much research I found that there is a show that actually does this. The image of Tierry was from the 2012 Bench Universe denim and underwear show. The show, which I think took place in the Philippines, featured both male and female models in both their denim and underwear and various props and headpieces added to increase the drama of the event.
The most active site for info and video of Tierry ended up being Youtube, which includes clips not only of his modeling, but also his appearances on reality TV including Portugal's Secret Story, which is based on Big Brother. It was through this show, I was able to find a 'mini' bio on the shows wiki page.
'Tierry Vilson is 23 and comes from Praia Grande, Sintra. He is an international model. He spends hours in the gym and has a great care in maintaining a healthy mind and a healthy body. He practices capoeira and is accomplished to turn somersaults. He is very competitive and does not like losing. He likes that people talk about him, no matter what. He entered on Day 1 and left on Day 37.'
Although I wasn't able to learn a whole lot about Tierry, I thought you all might like a sneak peak at the set of shots from the Bench Universe Show that initially caught my eye...
Bench Universe Denim & Underwear Show (2012)
Most images from the Bench Universe Fashion show by Bruce Casanova (See more HERE:)