Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Can we have it all?

Can people work 60-80 hours a week, raise a family, and maybe go back to school or reenter the dating scene? More to the point, can you do all those things at the same time without compromising any area of your life or cutting corners?

We ask this question because the mythology behind the Apple of Discord/The Judgment of Paris story raises this question. When you think of beauty, power and wisdom, you could translate that today as falling in love/starting a family, having a career and leaving a legacy. Paris in the myth story can just pick one of these life stages to pursue.  Will his choice be the right decision for the circumstances of his life? For those that know the rest of the story, the result was a disaster.  All these questions inspired us to make the short film, The Apple of Discord.  A screening of the film with a Q/A to follow happens tonight, 12/14/16 in Colorado Springs.

We'd enjoy hearing your thoughts raised by these questions. Head over to our Facebook page and let your voice be heard:

Sunday, October 9, 2016

What kind of desert are we in?

Deserts are beautiful with their curving sensual sands, expansive skies and vibrant colors. They are also deadly with unforgiving heat, little water and blasting wind. The desert can be an apt analogy when discussing the subject of life and loneliness. Loneliness can be destructive but also instructive for our lives. How do we experience it and how have we dealt with it in humorous and positive ways? This is what my new blog project project, Lonely Mythos, is all about. We've asked people to share their experiences with loneliness. You can read people's responses to the questions about loneliness, comment and participate yourself. To learn more, you can go to the blog by clicking here.  Perhaps it's time to reflect on what kind of desert we currently reside.

Friday, September 23, 2016

If you were offered power, wisdom or beauty, which would you chose?

If you had to pick between power, wisdom or beauty, which would you chose? That’s the set up in the Greek myth, The Judgment of Paris. An “Apple of Discord” in thrown in the midst of a wedding party as a symbol of beauty. A dispute arises between Goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite who all claim the apple. They asked Zeus to decide which of them is the “fairest of them all.” Being a wise old bird, Zeus is not about to get himself involved in this no win situation. He picks a Trojan mortal, Paris to decide. All three Goddesses appear to Paris and offer their various temptations. It was Aphrodite that won the apple, promising Paris the most beautiful woman in the world. Unfortunately, this woman, Helen, was already married. Her abduction led to the Trojan War, where the Greeks launched a thousand ships to retrieve her.

What will you choose to do? Still from the film.
Myths offer memorable insights into the human condition and offer us clues to what lies beyond the physical world. That’s why they can be flipped and updated even now because of these universal truths. In my new short film, “The Apple of Discord,” we see a different outcome of Paris’ decision. It doesn’t start a physical war, but an internal one. It’s a battlefield over a current obsession of our culture. What will the causalities of such an obsession be? Explore this question for yourself by viewing the short film  here  (Be sure to select HD).

If you appreciate the film, likes are always helpful. You can also join the conversation by sharing your thoughts in the comment section below the video. Thanks for watching!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Danger: Nudity! Will we leave the warnings about ourselves behind?

Nudes are as old as heaven and hell
There were intergalactic threats everywhere. The robot wildly flared its arms like a mechanized demon possessed. “Danger, Danger Will Robinson!”  If an art gallery reprogrammed the robot today, it might scream, “Danger, Danger. Contains Nudity!”  

If there is going to be wider acceptance of the human body as an art form, then we need to see more artistic nudes in public places. There are different approaches that venues take in displaying this kind of work. Some put up signs saying, “Warning or Attention. Contains Nudity” at the door. Some take it a step further:  I once saw a gallery where they attached sticky notes on the art itself to hide breasts and genitalia. The sticky notes also had written warnings about what lied beneath. Much of the thinking behind these approaches is to minimize the chances of offending people that visit the gallery. There is also another line of thought that parents will be upset if their children see non-sexual, artistic nudity. While venue owners may be well intentioned with these warnings, they diminish all of us by implying there is something inherently questionable about the human body.

No warning signs here for this beautiful work
Nudity has been present in art for thousands of years. If you go to an art gallery, then it is reasonable that you may see artistic nudity.  Two examples come to mind of venues that don’t put up warning signs, sticky notes or otherwise stigmatize the very art they purport to promote. The gallery where I currently exhibit my artistic male nudes has adults with children that visit. Rather than trying to hide their children from the work, parents let them look at it, ask questions and have a discussion about its purpose.  Another example: At the Denver Art Museum, they currently have on display a beautiful male nude sculpture. It was of a man who lost part of his leg. It told the story of how it ended his army career and but inspired him to become a paralympic athlete.

These two examples show the power of art to transform the way we see ourselves. In this case, it communicated an important teachable moment that our bodies are to be celebrated and not shamed!  These moments can only happen when are open and honest about who we are. Are we willing to leave the warnings about ourselves behind?

Feel free instead to join the discussion about this or other blog entries on my Facebook page. You can also follow me on Google + and comment there.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

What story about men are we telling?

History. Philosophy. Science. Two men sit in a car discussing these subjects while eating their  food. Their conversations show them to be ignorant, shallow and inept. While on the surface these fast food commercials seem like harmless fun, they are in fact symptoms of a larger cultural phenomena that portray men as fools.  You can find examples of this across all forms of media.  This marketing approach taps into our insecurities via a proxy attack on all the men in our lives that have failed us.

Site of a photo shoot
My photography has primarily focused on male nudes. What story about men am I trying to tell? Men are richly complex: beautiful yet rugged; strong yet vulnerable; heroes and flawed. We take control over the story through the choices we make in art and in our daily lives. That’s a story worth telling.

If you want to learn about my artistic process and how I approach a photo shoot to capture these truths about men, you can check out this YouTube video.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Will we have the greatest ambition possible?

"Why will you not have ambition? Why? Have the greatest ambition possible! You want to be immortal: fight to be immortal. Do it. You want to make the most fantastic art...try. If you fail, it's not important. We need to try."
-Alejandro Jodorowsky

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a director who assembled an amazing team 
(Salvador Dali, Orson Wells, David Carradine, H.R. Giger, Mick Jagger, Pink Floyd) to create a film version of the famous sci-fi novel, Dune in 1975. Unfortunately, Hollywood didn't go for it, despite said team and having the entire film story boarded by famed comic artist Moebius.  David Lynch would go on to direct a different film version in 1984 that many considered (including this writer) a colossal disappointment. 

The rise and fall of the 1975 project is detailed in an amazing documentary, Jodorowsky's Dune, from which the above quote comes from. While the movie never happened, the story boards for the film directly influenced movies like Alien, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, The Terminator, Prometheus and others.

Screen shot from The Other Side of the Sun
Art can be a scary proposition, particularly when you have roadblocks that can derail the ambition of your vision. I've directed a number of short films and consider the first one to be a rather epic fail. Yet, it enable me to learn and get me where I am today: like recently directing a music video, The Other Side of the Sun. Are we learning in our daily lives to fail better and have the greatest ambition possible? 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Are you ready to be taken on an incredible journey?

Are you ready to be taken on an incredible journey? This journey involves beauty, strength and vulnerability.  You will be lead outdoors to find men whose bodies become extensions of the surrounding landscape. Their forms become an expression of vulnerability. They risk judgment showing us who they are and this openness reflects the strength residing within them.

This is my introduction to my new print magazine, Journey: The Male Nude.  Our society often encourages us not to show vulnerability. We must always have the  right answers, know what to do next and be strong. But this doesn't reflect reality for many of us. It takes a strong person to say "I'm afraid" or "I don't know the answer" but then moves forward the best way they know how. The duality of being both strong and vulnerable at the same time is something I strive to capture in my work. Life is indeed a great adventure! 

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of my latest work, you can get more information by clicking here.