white button down, Gap. bracelets, vintage. celtic knot ink, Brian Holton
Photography by Dave McKelvey
“In the open fields of American experience, as catalogued with passion by Whitman and as sized up with a shrug by Warhol, everybody is a celebrity. No moment is more important than any other moment; no person is more interesting than any other person.” – Susan Sontag
Photoplay, modeling, the very concept of being placed in front of a camera lens and expected to look a certain way, move a certain way, be a certain version of yourself, leaves me searching for words that make it all commonplace, that make it less of an event. I like to think of the process as being similar to painting. In photography the paints are the shadows, the wrinkles in the clothes, wisps of out-of-place hair, doe eyes and angled body parts, the brush is the lens that refracts the light and captures the paint that’s lying on the three dimensional canvas in just the right way. It’s easy to understand how staring into a mirror, high on LSD, turned Jerry Hall’s tripping groupie mind onto the idea of modeling. It’s beyond vanity, it’s not just looking pretty, it’s looking interesting, and to echo Sontag’s invocation of Whitmanesque judgments, anyone, and in fact everyone, can look interesting.
The man’s body is sacred and the woman’s body is sacred, No matter who it is, it is sacred – is it the meanest one in the laborers’ gang? Is it one of the dull-faced immigrants just landed on the warf? Each belongs here or anywhere just as much as the well-off, just as much as you, Each has his or her place in the procession.
-Walt Whitman, “I Sing the Body Electric”