The second article from the “model Impressions” series comes from one of my very first models who I have a wonderful creative relationship with. From our very first shoot we had that almost psychic connection and all of the projects resulting from our collaborations are at the very top of anything I have ever produced. I’ve asked Erin to share some of her insights from our shoot for the Fluid and Form project and here is what she had to say:
I’ve worked with Marius 4 times so far and hope to do so again! Our first shoot was to get to know each other and mainly focused on his Twisted Flesh project, the second was Fluid and Form, the third a “muse” shoot and the last (before he abandoned me for Europe) was a shoot in my home.
Fluid & Form was by far my favorite project I’ve worked on with Marius, not to mention a unique and exciting experience! Marius came to me with a general concept for the shoot, which I immediately wanted to be a part of. We planned and brainstormed specific shots, materials, and cleanup many weeks before the shoot date.
The day before our scheduled shoot, we met up to prepare the studio, and get our material and kitchen supplies organized. I felt a little overwhelmed seeing the floor and cupboards covered with boxes of powder, bottles and jugs of various fluids, and stacks of bowls. This experiment with me as the guinea pig seemed like it was going to get out of control, but I had faith in our ability to collaborate.
In theory, I knew what I was getting myself into, but when the day came, I wasn’t quite prepared for the sensory overload. I had liquids dumped over my head, at the end of the shoot, literally thrown by the bucketful into my face, and my body covered in gauze and string. I remember seeing honey drip over my eyebrows and praying it wouldn’t sting if it got in my eyes. One of the last sets we did was rubbing my body with spices. It felt like an exfoliating scrub at a spa, but we didn’t plan for my skin to be temporarily dyed yellow. That was the most embarrassing walk home I’ve had in my life… and the most showers I’ve had in a day. Some of the poses we agreed to shoot were physically exhausting, which I wasn’t prepared for. I had to hold a few bends for a few minutes, with my knees screaming out. In the end, it was totally worth it.
[Above: One of the poses Erin held for a very long time while I found the best angles]
Cristina Waltz, our assistant was an amazing help when it came to applying the liquids, collection the excess spillage, and keeping Marius’ hands and camera clean. We could not have done the shoot as successfully without her. Marius was respectful throughout the day, letting me take breathers and shower breaks, and asking me if I was comfortable. The shoot was incredibly fun and Marius’ knowledge of composition and his willingness to experiment with angles made for some absolutely stunning images, a gorgeous art book and what I think was the jumping off point for some of his newer bodies of work. I’m thankful to have had the pleasure of collaborating with Marius on that project and am proud of the images.
What I love to much about these images, is that each ingredient resulted in a completely different feel. My favorite sets are the orange, green, and the orange/gauze combo. The orange shots are full of strength and warmth. The high key green crops, both with and without the red dipped string are abstract, minimal, intriguing and have this strange alien beauty to them. I also love the low key set with the gauze and orange. They’re much more emotional, and powerful since the figure is wrapped and seemingly vulnerable, but still have the minimalist quality that the others do. The fact that we pulled off so many distinct looks in one day was really impressive.
[Above: photos Erin chose as samples of the variety of images produced during the shoot]
It’s so rare to work with someone who values the true foundations of art – tone, composition, emotion! He shoots real people, for real art. I think his real strength was in making me as his subject feel completely comfortable and good about being myself. He always made me feel truly beautiful, and empowered. I felt valued and unique when I worked with him, which for me, is a rare feeling.