Woke up this morning to discover my flickr account had passed 3,000,000 views overnight! Thank you, sincerely, to everyone following my stream, the thousands of tumblr & facebook followers, athe tens of thousands flickr followers, and for all the kind words over the last few years. Thank you especially to those who have purchased my books, my prints, or followed me through the magazines.
Thank you again, and you can look forward to more to come. :)
Below is a psychoanalysis of my work from an Ontario psychotherapist, Mr. Allan O’Marra. Allan is also a painter and due to mutual admiration, Mr. O’Marra was gracious enough to honor my request for an in-depth psychological analysis of my work (which I’ve been interested in for a long time but never had the opportunity for one).
I looked through your entire “oeuvre” of photos on Flickr; and I also visited your web site and read your auto-bio – which certainly provides some excellent insights into your personality. However, I will base my psychoanalysis on my reactions to the observation of your photography as displayed in your Flickr page.
With such an apparent and steadfast focus of your art on the naked, or near-naked female body, one could quickly perceive it as some kind of overwhelming – possibly unhealthy — pathological fixation. That, of course, would be jumping to a conclusion that wouldn’t take into account the many other aspects and involvements of your life. And that it may be, quite simply, “artistic” focus. Since you have asked me to base my feedback strictly on observations of your work, I will have to establish responses based on an overview of your focus as well as relative to variations in photo picture content, model choices, model expressions, model behaviour, interactions between models, your direct involvement in various images, etc.
First of all, I’ll comment on your evident primary focus on the eroticism of females. As an artist, myself, I understand the general practice of artistic focus on specific themes – either in tangential or parallel occurrence or in long term singularity of focus. I completely get that, since it happens to me, as well. And being a fan of art and artists – as well as a columnist in a local newspaper in which I profile artists and their art-making and careers – I accept that as modus operandi for the preponderance of creative souls. And I accept and acknowledge that it is passion for subject matter that invariably drives the choice of focus – something you quite evidently have in spades for your subject material. So particularity of focus and strength of passion are quite important— even critical — for the production of “successful” art – and, indeed, for prompting the viewers response and engagement with it.
There is a theory/suggestion out there that the photographer uses their camera to maintain distance/not engage with the world/the subject – especially when it comes to people. That is a quite a voyeuristic exercise; that the photographer engages with his subject by proxy, by way of his lens. One might suggest that you engage erotically – and, possibly with the world on other levels – through your photography. However, samples of your photos indicate that in some instances you insert yourself (your penis), literally into the picture – in fact recording your erotic involvement/engagement with your subject/life in a direct and, ostensibly, healthy manner. Now, one could also suggest that the inserting of your penis into pictures could indicate exhibitionism in a kind of controlled environment, as well.
Now, the subjects/objects of your focus: nude/near-nude adult females. Your choice of models: although all are conventionally attractive and mostly all fitting a similar body type, they are not idealized-appearing, but are quite “real” people – many being friends, etc., I gathered from reading some of your comments. This would indicate a healthy level of perception of females and easy involvement with them. Your models appear natural and relaxed, even when in quite provocative, revealing poses – i.e.: spread-eagle or in close-ups of genitals. Your models display a wide range of emotion – quite evidently, being permitted to be themselves, and not being forced to “model” some emotion you are projecting onto them. Often the settings seem quite domestic and disarming – not formally in a studio, etc. This would indicate your complete natural and relaxed candour and easiness around people and the subject of sexuality. And you are quite comfortable photographing both heterosexual and homosexual sexual relations in the most intimate detail, documenting not only your comfort with the subject matter, but the trust and safety you engender from the subject couples.
So, in conclusion, my sense of your psychological make-up, based on my experience as a psychotherapist AND as a senior artist — and strictly on the evidence of observations of samples of your fine art photography — is that, although there is an apparent singularity of focus on eroticism – and primarily on female eroticism – your approach and engagement with the subject of sexuality and the objects of your focus is within the norms of “artistic” singularity of passion and focus; and the involvement and respect that is evident in your interaction and posing of your models indicate to me a compassionate and passionate human being who is expressing his artistic and sexual makeup by way of a safe (for you and your subjects) production of photographs that are not only fine art of the highest measure, but have a unique and indelible personal stamp of you as a creative individual.