FLESH IN THE ELEMENTS: A Photographic Exploration of FOUND OBJECTS featuring Model NARCISSA.
Captured by photographers Dave Foss, Daniel R Winters, Bob Coulter, Wolf, and Jean Pierre Billard.
Model Narcissa: An opportunity to exhibit art at Madame X is an honor. To exhibit twice in 5 months was the most challenging experience I’ve come across since I started modeling January 2009.
Completely different from the previous show, the theme and concept here is to show the relation between flesh and the environment. Whether it is indoor, man-made space or outdoor, organic, or industrial structures, I explored the many facets of the space we see, feel and touch. Collaborating with five different photographers was the most exhilarating part of the project. It became a collage of images from professional with their incredible specialties
In the photography world, the industry concept of “Guerrilla Shootings” implies photo shoots that may be outdoors, in public places, where models are naked/exposed and risk the possibility of being seen by other people. It is thrilling to feel the shock of being seen by random strangers and also the risk of being reported and caught by the authorities. Indecent exposure or unauthorized photo shoots may incur hefty fines. Therefore it is wise to “shoot and run”. A tactic that is practiced by many with good and bad outcomes. Strategy is to not stay too long in one place – keep moving. We find our location, prepare the lighting, mentally see the poses and then for 60 to 90 seconds, the overcoat comes off, step out of my clogs and jump into the scene. Shoot some different poses and stop! Run back to get coat and clogs to cover up and be on our way.
Nothing seen, then nothing happened.
Majority of the images were captured between November 2009 to February 2010. This has been a bitter winter. Besides the concept of “guerrilla shooting,” I also possessed the determination to brave the below freezing temperatures to capture the perfect shots. My projects must be exciting, compelling, and relating to human affect. This exhibition reflects a determination to fight the elements and embrace them simultaneously. Dave Foss helped me depict a love for the beautiful structures of bridges and brick buildings. Other images portray a defiance to the ice covered rocks that lay several feet away as I wrap my body on the cold rail that overlooks the water. In one of the images, I am standing on top of a pile of split logs. It was sunny, beautiful clouds and about 36 degrees Fahrenheit. A pile of split wood, rough edges exposing potential splinters on my body became my mission. Precariously climbing the logs as some of them started to slide, splintered wood on my feet, I climbed until I felt I had accomplished what I had envisioned. The wind started to blow and it cut into my skin and straight to my bones like a knife. I raised my head in defiance and triumph, knowing that the Elements would not be victorious. Other daring idea was to be barefoot in the snow, insisting on feeling the curve of the rooftop pipes and also shivering with Daniel Winters outside an apartment fire escape.
Even the indoor shoots were challenging. Unusual indoor locations included Jean Pierre’s idea. It was a surprise to me that he’d stretched a life size canvas for the shoot. Then he gave me an exacto knife/blade and was behind the camera. I’d experienced for the first time, a surreal and liberating feeling to break through that canvas, symbolic of so much in life. An indoor guerrilla shoot occured in a ladies bathroom at the HudXXX Hotel with male photographer, Wolf. I couldn’t resist the beautiful white on white tiles and the chrome faucets. Yes, I love shiny metal. That guerrilla shoot did result in security guards banging on the door. Getting caught is not fun unless you are creative. Photographer Wolf held me up while we performed an Emmy Award Winning exit. With a drunken swagger, tissues covering my mouth and dry heaves from too much drunken debauchery, the now sympathetic security guards radioed the lobby to get us a taxi. THAT is the fun part of shooting. A dirty, motel full of grime happens to be one of the last relics of the REAL Time Square before the “Theme Park” structures took over. Hourly rates, shared toilets down the hall and no keys given to guests were the amenities. The room provided walls with recklessly covered up bullet holes with Spackle, linoleum floors from the 60’s, a porcelain sink the color of rust, and a mattress that screamed “bed bugs!” There was only one thought I had in mind at that moment – become “dirty” as well. And that was surprisingly less anxiety-provoking than shooting with Bob Coulter.
Please enjoy the photographic journey that these wonderfully gifted photographers captured. They willingly shared their artistic talents and collaboration with me, and voluntarily tolerated some unconventional ideas with the much patience. This show may only reflect a small portion of the immense creativity they possess and continue to share with others. I owe them a world of gratitude… – Narcissa
Dave Foss: Internationally known fine art photographer Dave Foss has developed a reputation for his photographs of nude women in dramatic landscapes and architectural settings. Dave is a long time veteran in the photographic world, and has the ability to use light to his advantage in almost any circumstance. Known for his strong sense of composition and design, Dave has said that the key component in his work is the ability to collaborate with a model to create a shared vision. His award winning image “Music Box Dancer”, depicting a nude dancer in front of Coney Island’s famed Parachute Jump (a New York City landmark), is just one example of how he uses light and structure to compose dynamic photographs. www.davefoss.com.
Daniel R Winters: Daniel Winters is a New York based photographer. He has been published in the online fashion magazine, Zephorah and is a candidate in Photofocus’ Emerging Photographer of the Year Contest. He holds an MFA. Examples of his work can be seen on his website, www.dwintersphoto.com.
Bob Coulter: Bob first established his cultural immortality with the release of a self titled record album, “Bob Coulter” in 1980 on the Red Records label. Shortly thereafter he began recording music, producing “Red Hot Chili Peppers,” “B52s,” “Keith Richards,” “Richard Hell” as well as such rap luminaries as “De La Sol”, “Queen LaTifah,” “Stetsasonic,”. In the early 1990’s Bob finally reached his fill of the music business, and made a professional shift to computers and technology. Enamored by the then nascent internet, and eager to make piles of money he registered the domain name crazybabe.com. Needing to fill the site with content, and not liking much that was out there, Bob bought a camera and started taking pictures. Whether Bob’s photography can be called “art,” or something irredeemably salacious is in the eye of the beholder.
Wolf: Wolf began shooting a few years ago. He’s not one for labels, and calls his style of photography, “Wolfedelic”. He admits that he’s been influenced by his favorite erotic, fetish, glamour, pinup, and editorial photographers, but says that his number one visual influence is a painter: Gustav Klimt. “Klimt’s most famous work isn’t necessarily explicit, but it’s highly erotic, it’s extremely beautiful, and it’s undoubtedly his own. That’s what I’m going for.” Wolf shoots very selectively, as most of his time is taken up by his career, and his first love, which is music. For more info, please see his music site: http://www.wolfedelic.com/
Jean Pierre Billard: (Jean Pierre’s contribution was not only as one of the photographers, but also the person responsible for making the show exist) March 14th 1943. Paris, France. Started working as an apprentice in a textile design studio in Paris. Worked in England for a year and half. Came to NY in 1967 and I am still involve in textiles design. Now I run the CAD division of a large textile firm. Was always interested in photography but became much more involved when digital technology emerged. I am not specialized in any particular type of photography..I find every thing interesting.