Last June I put out a casting notice for a photo series I was doing called Bohemian Nudes. It all happened because I was doing some film work in Vienna and I went to an exhibit of Egon Schiele at the Leopold Museum. I loved his work and was very inspired. I started to study his work. I learned that he had a strong connection with the Czech Republic. His mother was from Český Krumlov. He went to her abandoned house to escape Vienna and to retreat with his muse Wally. Egon was very content to paint and live a quiet life with Wally. They managed to live a peaceful existence there for awhile until he was accused of painting pornographic images by the outraged locals. He was swiftly thrown in prison and put on trial. He was found guilty of course. When Egon and Wally had a peaceful quiet life to themselves, Egon was quite prolific and accumulated a large collection of some of his best work. The police confiscated all of the paintings. After being found guilty, Egon was led to the town square where the public servants stacked the paintings in a huge pile, threw petrol on them and lit them on fire to the cheers of the crowd. Egon Schiele was led away to prison and stayed there another month. After he was released he went back to Wally and life in Vienna, never to step foot in the Czech lands again. The town of Český Krumlov now has a museum dedicated to Egon Schiele. It is 100 years later and I felt the need to do something in his honour. I was strongly influenced by Egon Schiele´s work and wanted to do a series of photos inspired by his paintings and drawings. I wanted to explore these ideas and see where all this would take me.
I never worked in this style before. I have mostly concentrated on doing portraits of people who inspire me in some way because of their creativity and uniqueness. First I had to find a suitable muse to work with to make this work. I decided that this would be a creative process where the model and photographer would inspire each other as equals. All of this led me to Rebeca Pla. I put out the word along with casting notices. Rebeca showed up at the casting and I was quite surprised. She was an image of extreme asymmetrics. She had long hair on one side of her head and on the other her head was shaved. After speaking to her, I found out that one side of her body had hair on it, arms, pubic and legs. On the other side, the left if I am not mistaken, she was all shaved. She told me that she was originally from Spain in the Catalonia region. Several years before, she was somewhat conservative and started working for a company in Dublin. Burned out from too much work, overnight, she decided to throw off the shackles of the work ethic, moved to Edinburgh, Scotland and got involved in the arts. Her specialty was nudity. She was a live model for artists and photographers. She appeared in the Edinburgh Fringe theatre hit Nic Green´s"Trilogy", where over fifty naked women of all ages and sizes, danced and performed for three hours. She continued with her own art and performance. She was attracted to the mysticism of Prague and ended up here. It was only natural that we would meet and do a project like this. If I was going to explore these ideas of Egon Schiele with anyone, it had to be with her. So we ventured forth throughout the summer doing a series of photo sessions and produced amazing results.
Looking at this photo you might ask, "Where is the nudity and what the hell does this have to do with Egon Schiele?"
Yes, I asked myself the same thing in fact and I answered myself, " Well it is all a journey and one never knows where one is going to end up, so we might as well make the most of it!"
Actually there are a lot of nude portraits that we did with a strong Egon Schiele influence and we are both quite satisfied with the results. I do not intend to show these here on the website. I feel that I have to give these photos the respect that they deserve. I will only exhibit them in gallery shows or show them to those interested upon request. The two photos that I show here came out of a long extended session where we explored the ideas of duality with colours/light/darkness, emotions of sadness/happiness, life/loss and much more. This photo looks as if it has the sensation of disco lights, psychedelia, drugs,and actually it is not that at all. If you look at Rebeca´s eye, well, it speaks for it itself. You tell me.Click on any highlighted names above to be led to sites for further information.