Friday, January 15, 2010

MODEL SHOOTING MODEL|MICHAEL ELMQUIST|JOE PESCI

Awakening In The Terminal|Photo Essay by Michael Elmquist




Model|Photographer|Michael Elmquist

Age|21

Hometown|Aitkin, Minnesota


1. You have been creating and shooting special art projects for quite some time, could you tell us how this creative process began for you?

It began as a simple and quick idea of dressing up two of my friends in sort of gothy/cyber-punk clothes and taking pictures of them. There was virtually no preparation to this, although during the shoot I began forming a story and effectively made a “base” for what I was shooting. That's something that I've kept since then. Each shoot I do is based on a thought-out story. I figure that way—whether the seer gets it or not—there is something to tell and the story does make sense to those who know it. It's those people who the story is for and who can appreciate all of it. Or something.


2. What prompted the creation of this special portfolio? What's the concept/location and why you felt the chosen model was right for this art project?

I respect you as a person, and I like to work with/for people that I respect. I'd like to help people I respect as well. This is true with Joe himself. It was a great pleasure to work with him and I think his innocent exterior adds to the coma-like state of these pictures and the premeditated idea. I suppose that answers why I thought he was right.


3. Could you tell us about your forthcoming project entitled Love Letter? When do you expect to start working on it?

Love Letter is a story that takes a piece of my own ideal and makes it addicted to crack. In less insane words, the idea of Love Letter takes one of my strongest ideals and brings it to one of the highest extremes. I think this volume of intensity shows the story off better. I'll begin working on the demo soon, and it should be done just as soon. After that, I wager I'll begin doing further work in the coming months among other projects.


4. You have recently moved to New York to pursue a career in modeling. What's your view of the Big Apple?

I'm stuck on the idea of being made for this city. I've yet to feel uncomfortable here, and I never think about getting shot or eaten by boss-like rats. That said, I also love the amount of energy here. A tad more than an obscure city in Northern Minnesota.


5. Describe your process in creating these images.

I feel as though I'm bringing something to life that already exists. I believe art is already in us, it's just realizing it. In that sense, I sort of feel like I'm cheating.


6. Is there a filmmaker or photographer that inspires you? If so, whom would that be?

I think most photographers produce boring work, but the film industry really does have some qualities of inspiration. However, neither really “inspires” me as much as music does. I have this annoying affinity of needing to be nearly completely original, so I try to stick to my own creative ideas.


7. A lot of artists are very influenced by the dark, isolated side of life to create their art. Could you define this from your perspective?

Sadness, depression, death, loss, abandonment, love and other emotions of the like are the best ways to discover the truth about things. Someone once said, “Artists use lies to tell the truth.” Stories that photographers and filmmakers usually make are lies. Because they're stories. However, these “lies” can inspire a person about their life and end up teaching them something. The more effective lies—or the darkest ones—are the ones that are the most emotionally stressful.


8. What is your ultimate dream?

What would be your dream project?

I have one. I'd rather not talk about it just yet.


9. If you had to spend a night crashing on the streets of New York, where would you like to be? Why?

Maybe a graveyard. No, not that. Maybe outside a church. Or by a restaurant so I could smell food. Not McDonald's.


10. What is the most reckless thing you have ever done?

My teenage hangout was this hidden place below a railroad bridge going over a river. It was private property for some reason, so I had to escape the cops on occasion. I've led a really dull life in that respect.


Bonus Question: What's your motto in life?

"I'd rather burn up in the stars than decay here on Earth." What that means is that I'd rather aim for the top and fail than sit here and do nothing and die.


AGENTS: Ryan Colby/Earnest Williams
IMAGES: Michael Elmquist/DNA
FASHION EDITOR/CONCEPT/CASTING: John Tan
MODEL: Joe Pesci/Earnest Represents/Models International
COPY EDITOR: Jonathan Shia
Special thanks to Grand Central Terminal, NYC for inspiration, Ryan Colby at Models International, Earnest Williams at Earnest Represents for their support and Michael Elmquist/Joe Pesci and his cousin for staying out late into the night.

CLOTHING:
All clothing are vintage.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

ELECTRICITY-ERIC BELL





Name|Eric Wayne Bell

Age|17

Hometown|Cookeville, Tennessee


1. Could you tell us a bit about your hometown and your life back home?

Cookeville is tiny, tiny. There's no mall and we recently got a Walmart. Very boring place. But on the bright side, the scenery is beautiful. There are many parks and waterfalls that are breathtaking.


2. At what age did you realize a career in modeling was in your deck of cards?

When I was about 13 or 14, I think. I watched a DSquared fashion show and fell in love.


3. Since modeling is quite new for you, what intrigues you about getting into the business? Is there a male model whose path to success you would like to follow?

Just the fact that there are so many new things to learn about fashion and the industry in general intrigues me. I don't like following anyone's path. I plan on creating my own path to success.


4. It was brought to our attention that you are a dancer and your future goal is to become a successful choreographer. Could you share with us what you have done so far?

I've choreographed a couple of talent shows here and there, and a showcase for my dance studio, Prelude16. It had great success, but in a small town in Tennessee, there's not much dancing there.


5. What style of dance do you perform? Which one do you feel is most passionate? Is there a choreographer you aspire to become in the future?

I mostly perform hip-hop and that's the genre I feel most passionate about. I really love Dave Scott. His choreography in the movie Step Up 2 was so amazing, it nearly made me cry.


6. If you were given an opportunity to be in any film/stage musical (past or present), which one would you choose?

Honey, I loved the final dance scene of that movie. It was very inspirational and to be a part of that would have been amazing.


7. Some dancers have said that the act of dance is like electricity, the music takes over your soul and merge with music as one. Could you describe the feeling of dance for you?

Dance is like an emotion for me. When I dance, the feeling I get is indescribable. I just leave my heart out when I dance, and it makes me feel invincible. And the adrenaline rush I get is amazing.


8. Which song would be your signature tune to dance to? Which style of dance would best suit this choreography?

“Krazy” by Pitbull. The song is very energetic and kind of in-your-face, just like my choreography. That or “Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums” by A Perfect Circle. That song is perfect for conveying an emotion and telling a story through dance, which is something I love to do, and the beats and rhythm are perfect for hip-hop.


9. It was also brought to our attention that you have a very distinctive dress style and you are often singled out for your sense of style. Could you tell us about this? Coming from a hometown that is probably not as fashion-aware as New York, did you have to overcome adversity in terms of expressing your own dress code freely?

I like my style to be kind of dark with random punches of color. People often didn't understand the mix. I like having lots of holes in some of my clothes and put a bright color underneath it, like holes in my jeans and royal purple tights underneath. People in a farming town like Cookeville would ridicule me for things like that. Apparently they think guys aren't supposed to wear anything but camo. I say whatever.


10. What is the most reckless thing you have ever done?

Back in the day I used to do everything it would take to be the center of attention. Well one time, I and one of my long-time friends were in our school cafeteria and we were bored. We chucked food at every teacher in sight, the students just got in the crossfire. When the attention was directed to someone other than myself, I decided to get all eyes back on me by randomly hitting some guy across the face. Then a fight broke out all around, and I was content with the fame I had gotten that day. I didn't even get in trouble.


Bonus Question: What is your motto in life?

When I was 15 my good friend Richard said, "Whatever happens, happens," before he let me drive his car and shortly after that I wrecked it. Nothing really bad happened, though. Almost no damage and no one was hurt. So, ever since then, if I'm in a situation, I just say, "Whatever happens, happens." Like, before I go to a casting I just think, "Whatever happens, happens." So, if I get the job, that's awesome! But if not, oh well. No harm done. It's gotten me pretty far.


AGENTS: Len/I Model Management Calgary/Canada;
Jody Gordon/Fusion Models
IMAGES: Colin Angus/www.colinangusphotography.com
FASHION EDITOR/CONCEPT/CASTING: John Tan
GROOMING: Georgi Nikolaev Sandev for www.georgisandev.com
MODEL: Eric Bell/I Model Mgmt (Canada)/Fusion (NY)
COPY EDITOR: Jonathan Shia
Special thanks to Len at I Model Management, Jody at Fusion Models, Michael Zakrzewski at Topman, Heather Hayhurst at The News, Colin/Diana Angus, Georgi Nikolaev Sadev and Jenny Rebecca McLauglin for their support.

CLOTHING:
Cheap Monday-www.cheapmonday.com
Topman-www.topshop.com
KZO-www.kzocinematics.com
Marc by Marc Jacobs-www.marcjacobs.com
Jewelry from estate of Evelyn Metras courtesy of Jenny Rebecca McLauglin