The Tom of Finland Foundation is calling on you, artistic babies. The foundation, which honors and preserves the legacy of the iconic erotic artist, is returning for the 10th time with its annual Emerging Artists Competition.
Contestants are asked to showcase work that falls in one of five categories — single figure, dual figure, multiple figure, fantasy, photography. However these categories are illustrated is up to the artist. The grand prize is this lovely “Tom of Finland Preparatory” drawing.
The deadline for the contest has been extended to November 3rd, so you have plenty of time to sharpen your pencils and find your muse. Or your daddy.
For more details about the contest, click here.
The 21-year-old photographer on portraits, limitations and James Dean
Self-portraits in the 21st century are something of a glossed-over art. When anyone with access to a smart phone can snap a selfie, it’s second-nature to dismiss photos people take of themselves, no matter the artistry that may or may not have gone into creating them. When it comes to 21-year-old photographer Freddy Krave, however, whose candid, sometimes explicit self-portraits you’ve probably already seen splashed across your Tumblr dash, the art of self-portraiture is given a distinctly digital-age twist. The Bologna, Italy based artists’ self-portraits are often simple and forthright in their presentation, relying on little more than a plain, white backdrop to emphasize Freddy’s unconventional ideas for what a self-portrait can be. There are ones with props, wherein everything from spilled milk, handcuffs, and syringes are fair game. There are digitally manipulated ones, wherein body parts are warped, colors edge into the surreal, and limits of perception are tossed aside. No matter which one you’re looking at, however, what binds them together is the overwhelming sense you get that Freddy’s tongue is pressed firmly in cheek, ready for you to interpret his surreal, erotic portraits in whatever way you see fit.
Now living and working out of Bologna, Italy, Freddy’s work isn’t just limited to self-portraits. His Tumblr is filled with stylish portraits of models, bringing to mind a less skeezy, more homo-friendly version of Terry Richardson. On top of that, he’s also recently begun working in film as well, posting some phantasmagorical, NSFW clips to his new YouTube channel. There’s no question about it: the boy has a knack for quality, fashion-forward aesthetics.
We reached out to Freddy to ask him a few questions about his origins in photography, working without limits, and his fantasy of taking portraits of James Dean in his home studio (don’t we all wish for that sometimes?).
How long have you been taking photographs? What was your first experience with a camera? I started when I was just a kid. Think I was six or seven years old. My grandma bought me a disposable camera and I started taking pictures of everything around me. It was an obsession. Photography became a strong interest for me. Two years ago I decided to use a white background and photograph people trying to communicate something without a hard makeup or expensive and bulky dresses. Just using their body and doing crazy and provocative things.
What’s the typical set-up for one of your shoots? Do you use your own home or a studio? I only use a white background. I’m lucky to have white walls at home so I take advantage of that. I don’t have any accessories, I can’t afford them at the moment. I use my camera and a mountable flash. The rest of my work is post-produced using Photoshop (lights, colors, imperfections).
What is it about self-portraits that appeals to your artistic sensibilities most? I have to admit that self-portraits helped me a lot. I discovered so many sides of my personality and it gave me a lot of confidence. Using myself also helped improve my techniques and I applied what I learned on other people I took pictures of. And this is what I’m still doing. I feel like I’m evolving everyday, learning a lot about my person and learning so much more about how I can approach photography.
How do you approach making a film compared to taking a photo? Is it a similar method? Well, I never did videos so I said to myself that I could try. So I’m experimenting. I love doing new stuff and I can’t wait to show my works to the world. I have this hunger inside that sometimes I think could consume me, but I don’t give a fuck, I just wanna do what I wanna do. And I actually do it. It’s awesome, the feeling of freedom. And about the comparison between a video and a pic… it’s pretty different. In a video you must concentrate for a longer time and everything has to seem natural and true. I think this is the secret to communicate something.
What makes you decide to add digital elements to a portrait? Do you begin with an idea in mind for what the end result will be, or do you work more spontaneously? I add digital elements because in this way I can model the picture and I can leave my “mark”. I really wanna create something different from the original shot and using computer programs I can do that. Actually it’s one of the things I like more. For the most part my work is spontaneous. I love to improvise.
Where are you happiest? When I hold my camera in my hands. I feel complete and secure. It’s the best feeling ever.
Many of your photos take the basics of formal portraiture and willfully distort them through erotic or surreal elements. Can you speak on this subversion? I like eroticism and I like to shock. I love when people say “What the fuck is he doing? What is this? Oh my god!”. Every idea I have I put into practice. I don’t want to have limits or barriers. I just wanna express myself and what I feel. And I don’t pretend to be understood, I don’t want to be understood.
If you could showcase your work anywhere in the world with money as no object, where would it be? I think I would love to see my works in New York. Those big screens in the city. I’d wish that all that people could see who Freddy Krave is and what he is trying to do, expressing what he has inside. I want my art to be for all.
If you could shoot any model, living or dead, who would it be? There are so many people that I wanna photograph, I could write a book with their names. But one that I regret I’ll never have the possibility is James Dean. He is so fascinating still, now that he isn’t alive. I would love to photograph my sister too. We live in two different countries and it’s been a long time since I saw her last. I hope to have the possibility one day.
Hi Gio! It has been a while since we hung out and now we get to do it on “the longest night of year.” Gio’s show this Friday sounds very ambitious, as Yann Perol explains it: “The colorful and defiant universe of Gio Black Peter’s videos, songs, drawings and paintings, seep with humour, absurdity and fantasy, where misappropriations rule. Black Peter incarnates various fantasies, he is able to embody a multitude of characters, each a facet of the artist’s personality. His work remains anchored in reality, while diverting into satire and parody of politics and today’s world.” The opening reception will have performances by Brian Kenny, Gage of the Boone, Max Steele, Jordan Hall and of course Gio Black Peter himself, with music by Gordon Beeferman. The show will run for three days and the Bureau will be offer “an exclusive limited edition C-type print (only available in person).” Each 8”x5” print will be signed, dated and numbered on site by the artist. There’s more, on August 16 & 17 Gio is going to be doing “a live photo shoot with his Communion portraits.” Anyone is welcome to be part of it, if you do, you’ll receive a print. All I can say is that you are probably going to have to show your peen, but he’s probably going to be naked so that should put you at ease.
A new show by the artists Walt Cessna and Natasha Gornik
A provocative photography exhibition is opening on July 25th at Leslie+Lohman Prince Street Project. The artists Walt Cessna and Natasha Gornik will present Sharp Objects, a showcase with a focus on sexuality and the male gaze. While New York based photographers, writers and bloggers Cessna and Gornik have collaborated before, this is their first show together — and it looks very promising.
The reception is hosted by MachineDazzle Flower, Brooklyn DJ David John Sokolowski will play music and a special performance by Paul Leopold (aka BOYWOLF).
To get a taste of what’s in store, check out their websites (Cessna and Gornik), then head on down to the gallery, and enjoy a cocktail served up by Cessna’s “super muse” Chad Ferro. I am glad they’s have a muse as bartender, some of those servers can be boring sometimes…
FREE, 6:00PM-9:00PM, Leslie+Lohman Prince Street Project, 127-B Prince St. New York, NY.
Marilyn Monroe was the original crazy lady of Hollywood. Sure some came before her, but no one could outdo that nutcase. She was also super-smart and a captivating performer. And just when you thought the world had seen every last damn photo of this woman (I mean she died in 1962 at the age of 36) comes a traveling show that features newly discovered images snapped by five photographers who just happened to be around Marilyn at the right time. The show is comprised of work by Milton Greene, Lani Carlson, Thomas “Doc” Kaminski, Mischa Pelz and her personal make-up artist Allan “Whitey” Snyder. These photos were taken mainly while on vacation and show Marilyn doing all sorts of regular people things like visiting Niagara Falls, petting a horse and chilling out with some black bears. The show only runs for 4 days, so carve out some time for it. Get to it girl!
The solo presentation marking 10 years of the fruitful collaboration between Slava Mogutin & Brian Kenny — The exhibition is on view until August 15th at the gallery Please Do Not Enter.
You may know the saucy, super talented and irreverent film director/photographer Larry Clark. He’s the guy who directed the movie ‘Kids’ and shot the photos in the series titled ‘Tulsa,’ of all those hot teenagers shooting up amphetamines, that caused quite a stir in the art community. His NYC gallery Luhring Augustine has a super sexy show, a mini retrospective of sorts, of Clark’s work spanning his career from 1960 to the present. It’s up now until August 1st. Let me just say there are a lot of beautiful vaginas AND cocks (hard, soft, recently ejaculated). Many of the pieces are meticulous collages assembled from Clark’s vast collection of snapshots, printed material and detritus from his life, as well as never before seen paintings. “His interest is in kids on the brink of becoming men and women, recording the myriad of beautiful, fucked up, charming, clumsy, dirty things involved in the transition.” There’s even a girl with an ass full of shit in one collage but Larry makes it work. The man is still going strong in his 70’s having just finished a film called ‘The Smell of Us’ about self-destructive skateboarders, being released this fall. Go Larry go, I dig your scene.
Help the artist/writer/porn star afford a romp across the continent
Back in April, artist/writer/sex columnist/perfect porn star Colby Keller announced that he was being evicted from his apartment in Baltimore. Having called the city home for the last ten years, Keller saw the eviction notice as a sign: not only of the growing gentrification of the city, but one that also meant it was time to move on into the great unknown. For Keller, being the adventurous, gorgeous trailblazer that he is, that great unknown involves buying a van, a mattress, and a camera in order to travel across the US and Canada recording a porn in every state and province along the way. Aiming to do all of this in less than a year, Keller has now taken to Indiegogo for help getting this infallible venture on the road, with a slew of awesome perks to go with it.
The self-described ‘art-nerd porn icon’ has made signed postcards, t-shirts, personalized videos (as clean or dirty as you like), and original illustrations all available depending on how much you want to contribute to the project. If you’re feeling generous, you get a “Spanking Station” hosted by the bearded star in your hometown. If you’re feeling extra generous, you get to actually direct a porn with Keller and another model, wherever and however you want. It’s a porn aficionado’s dream come true, to say the least. He’s got a month to reach his goal of $35,000, so now’s a good time to start forking over your extra cash and/or life savings so we can all enjoy this extra sexy road movie together.
Check out the Indiegogo campaign here, and watch Keller speak about the project below:
A collaboration between the artist and the noted adult star
Our friend and artist Stuart Sandford has been an artist-in-residence at the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles for the past few months. During his time there, “as a way of giving back to the foundation,” he collaborated with the famed porn actor Brent Corrigan creating 6 limited edition photographic prints to benefit the foundation. The images were all taken in Tom’s garden using an old Yashica T-5 35mm camera.
I had a chance to chat with Stuart about this project and he told me that the project started when “a mutual friend introduced me to Brent and invited him to the Tom of Finland House and gave him a tour, Brent was really excited and passionate about Tom and his work.” Stuart shared with me that he’s had a crush on Brent for years, “ever since I saw him in his first porn movies back in the gay, especially Every Poolboy’s Dream.” It seems like Stuart’s own dream came true. In preparation for the shoot, the artist and the model hanged out for a day, “drank some beers, talked about life, love, sex, art and took photos, which is the way I like to shoot, it’s all about the interaction between myself and the person I’m shooting.”
They’re planning on a few collaborations in the future, but in the meantime Stuart says they’ll hang out again soon in San Diego (where Brent is living at the moment) and ride horses bareback — “apparently it’s the best way to do it…although I heard it can be painful,” added Stuart.
Christie's serves up some of Warhol's Sexier Side
I was immediately struck by all the close ups of thick black cocks and spread ass cheeks in Christie‘s online only auction of Andy Warhol‘s male centric collection, up for just one more day, titled ‘Andy’s Eye Candy.’ The auction house has amassed over 100 photographs, prints and drawings from Warhol’s vast oeuvre. On closer inspection they provide a fascinating insight into the renowned artist’s sexual proclivities and personal relationships.
Even if you’re not buying, and I must say there are some very affordable pieces for sale, definitely have a look at the twenty pages of artworks up on the site. “This sale contains explicit content” is boldly printed on the title banner of the sale and I say “bring it on.” Drag queens, body builders, multiple ass and torso polaroids and a slew of “unidentified young males” are just some of the subjects Warhol aimed his stealth artistic gaze upon. There’s even a polaroid portrait of famed Stonewall drag queen and black american transgender rights activist Marsha P. Johnson. No wonder the sale is timed in conjunction with LGBTQI pride month.
One would think art historians and critics have left no stone unturned where Warhol is concerned but in light of ‘Andy’s Eye Candy’ it seems yet another layer of the elusive artist’s legend has been revealed.