Saturday, 11 June 2011

Revisted: CAESAR


I have always been fascinated with Ancient Greek and Roman mythology and culture, and by their love and appreciation of the human form.
Looking at the work of Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts and Pierre et Gilles, and taking into account ancient Greek and Italian art and sculpture, I tried to create something beautiful.
This series depicts the reign and downfall of Caesar, told in a new way.
Caesar is a cruel and vicious man, keeping young men locked up, beating and raping them as he pleases. Two of the slaves fall in love and together plot to kill Caesar. While one attempts to seduce him the other sneaks up on them and attacks. The lovers kill Caesar and dispose of the body.
Model-wise, I felt that I had to pull something fantastic out of the bag. Roman art dictates perfect bodies and muscle, so I knew that's what I had to procure. I found these bodies with Charlie Dagwell, Dominic Thomas and Matt Walsh, all of whom were extremly obliging. The reason why I love these boys is 1. because they were so accomdating, and 2. because you could tell that it didn't matter that myself and my assistant were obviously gay and loving working with muscular oiled up men. I think that they don't care who admires them, they just enjoy being admired. It's this trait in people that I find most interesting and attractive.
Hold on to your keyboards, this one's a seat-wetter.

A lot of my photography has had overt sexuality, almost to the point of erotica, but I have always felt so involved that I never found it arousing. I think with this shoot, I have broken through a boundary, for I kept the same feeling of intense involvement when I was shooting and when editing the images, but I can also tap into the erotic quality. I have never masturbated over my own work, and I don't think I ever will. This feeling of arousal is almost too metaphysical to actually pin down and physicalise it into something as sordid as wanking.

For the first time, I took a photographic assistant. I used my friend Samuel Nunn, as I do trust his eye for the more finer points of an image. I also knew he was profficient when it came to things like pinning bits of Ivy together as headbands and draping. I also knew he would kill to be there, so I made it his Christmas present.

I've done quite a bit of nude and semi-nude photography, so I thought that this would just be quitea fun image to have, the photographer with his kit off and the models standing around dressed and not impressed.


In the April of 2011 I took another look at these photos and re worked some of them. It's something most people don't think about, but a person's style of photo editing changes as much as anything else. My editing style now is perhaps much more desaturated, with dark intense eyes, and perhaps more closely cropped to the body. Old edit on the left, new on the right.

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