I recently had some time to catch up with a model friend of mine who I first photographed ten years ago. Quite honestly, without a muse to experiment with photographically, half of my body of work wouldn’t exist. That’s thousands of images and I’m grateful for every one of them. I’ve worked with many models over the years. Most of them have been ordinary people who have only modeled for me. Others make their living at it. Each of them brings something unique to my work.
Certainly though there are a few that I have worked with over the years who have become dear friends. Sitting down with one of them for dinner and wine last week at my little studio, difficult to do with crazy schedules these days, was a very nice few hours. She was one who I really put through a lot, looking back on it.
Once, I returned from Berlin, Germany where I had the chance to study some beautiful sculpture. I had an idea that seemed easy enough. I remembered as a kid, making paper maché masks and things. I also remembered that half way through the process, my hands took on a weathered and aged look as the mixture dried on them. I thought it looked pretty cool.
So when I got back from my Germany trip I decided to recreate that, except all over her body instead of just hands. It only took about 20 minutes to cover her whole body, and then we put her in the sun to dry. It really looked great. However, what we didn’t realize was that there are thousands of nearly invisible hairs all over the human body. Every time she moved to a new position… well there was a lot of pain.
The amazing thing was, we did it more than once. She was very patient through it all. All for art. Who says models have it easy? Here’s one of the images from one of the paper maché shoots about four years ago.