“To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognized for oneself.” – John Berger
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.” – Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”, 1859
Its been right at about 150 years ago since Charles Dickens wrote these opening lines to this book, yet I can hardly see how the same sentiments many not be used even as of today. Advancements in technology has taken us to places we only dreamed of in comic books, yet its surprising to see how stupid we can be at times. President-Elect Obama is a dream realized and is seen as the embodiment of hope for, not only the US but the also the world, to save us from global economic despair and to protect us from terrorist regimes who would destroy us.
I also can’t help but to compare said sentiments to my own life at the moment…best of times, photographically and seemingly worst of times…well, everywhere else. Yes, indeed these are trying times for many of us. Last week was a tough one, in that again, I got very little rest, but it was as much self-inflicted as it was out of my control. All I’d have to do is put down the camera and fore go all photographic related activities. 73% of my time would be freed up to get more rest, read an entertaining book, exercise, and a myriad of other stress reducing activities that may make my life more comfortable. HOWEVER, that ain’t me.
Its just not the life I chose for myself. These are decisions I am prepared to live with, good or bad…rest or unrest. Last week I had a shoot or photographic related activity almost every single day while trying to work at night. Twice I got zero sleep between the hours of getting off work in the morning and reporting back in that night, but I also have zero regrets about it. It hurt, yes. But I am already of a mindset that sacrifices were and still yet will be required. I am certain this will pay off and I believe it will do so in a big way. Ironically, I am not here in Las Vegas to hit the jackpot or beat the house. I’d be doing the same thing if I were in St. Louis, Dallas, or still in Clarksville, TN. My location doesn’t matter; only my resolve.
I had a great time organizing my latest art nude workshop at the Erotic Heritage Museum last weekend. What, you didn’t know Las Vegas had a museum dedicated to erotica? Well, now you do. It just opened up in August and it’s HUGE with over 25,000 square feet of exhibition area. If you come to Vegas without paying a visit to the place, you are wrong. Dr. Laura Henkel is the art director here and as it were, she and I are from the same area of Texas. The Las Vegas Weekly did an interesting read on her a few months ago, called the “The Curator of the Erotic“, Sept 2008. You can also view this video tour Dr. Laura Henkel gives of the museum. Don’t click off this blog without checking both of these links. Dr. Henkel is certainly a good find for the City of Las Vegas. She’s also a member of my Las Vegas Art Model’s Group and I have really enjoyed getting to know her. She very approachable despite all that she’s got on her table. This is a busy woman and yet she’s seems to have time for anyone. Great gal, I tell you. In fact, don’t wait. I think you should make the trip to Vegas, just to see the museum and meet Laura. If you are already here in Vegas and still haven’t been there… what the hell?
Enjoy more of my images with magical muse, Melissa. These are a series of work I chose to make into low light shots that take advantage of Melissa’s natural curves. I could shoot bodyscapes off this woman all day. She gives you so much to work with. All you have to do is see it. Thank you, Melissa.