'For my part, I went with the flow.'
In many ways, 'flow' is an ideal word to describe this shoot, and the holiday that inspired it. All of the major organs in our body connected to love and romance, passion and sex, rely on a powerful flow of blood pulsing though our body to our heart and sexual organs. Although there are many reason two people may not connect, it could be argued that it all comes down to the intensity of flow the person we're with, is capable of stimulating.
This pulsating flow, is beautifully illustrated in the red and sparkled design and lines that enwrap the beautiful bodies of model's Jay and Mike. The design, by New York makeup artist Charles Zambrano glides and encircles over body parts and skin, creating a symmetry and connection between body organs and human emotions, as well an artistic tie, that visually links both models together. Charles' design also provides a decorative ribbon, enwrapping the Valentine present they adorn.
New Manhattan Studio's Wes describes the Valentine inspired shoot as the successful result of his long desired goal to participate in and photograph a body-painting session. After meeting make-up Charles Zambrano, Wes became excited at the prospect of an artistic collaboration. Charles had previously worked with NMS second cameraman, and one of FH's favorite models, Alex Corso, who heartily endorsed him. The project they initially planned (and still hope to execute) was not, however, where their collaboration began last week.
Last year was all about the February holiday, a holiday which FH readers have come to look forward to sharing with NMS. Last year, many of use enjoyed part of our Valentines with Norm, the year before, many of us felt the flow with Bond. Although it was posted in April, Wes also shared a 2014 Valentine themed shoot with Claudiu. This year, we get not, but two (and maybe even three) Valentine virtual dates to celebrate a holiday, either loved or loathed, depending on your relationship status.
Although I always like to include 'behind the scenes' shots, when it comes to body painting, these process shots are an especially welcome addition. Not only is incredibly hot observing the creation of the final pieces of art, they also spotlight the many professionals who came together to bring us our Valentine present. In addition to Wes and Charles, Alex was also brought in to shoot and assist. Also in the studio was Jonathan Diaz. Jonathan was a guest in the studio who Wes said more than earned his keep. He assisted Charles in the makeup room and later assisted both Wes and Alex on the studio floor. Jonathan even ended up taking over the second camera role near the end of the session when Alex's flow began to head in another direction...
'When I shared with Charles my interest in creating some different Valentine’s art for 2017, he jumped at the chance to participate. In very short order we pulled in not one but two models for what would be a Valentine’s feature with a fantasy couple as opposed to a single model. Since we would only be in the studio for four hours, the design was simplified so that two models could be painted and shot within our allotted time. 'We started tweaking lights and exploring ideas with Mike as Jay was ushered into the dressing-with-paint room. It took less time to finish all the painting than expected; Charles had the help of a guest of the studio, Jonathan Diaz, a friend who had asked permission to shadow me at a photo session. In the accompanying pictures, Charles, the makeup artist, is in black. Jonathan wears a cap.'
'Jay is older of the two models and Mike, at 20, was the junior-most member of the collaborators. Once both models were painted and on the paper, Charles stepped in to direct the composition of the art. For my part, I was happy to be capturing the process as well as the finished art. Once I finish removing red glitter from the corners of the dressing room, I hope my studio landlord will let me invite the body painter back, too.'
Check out more images from the Valentine shoot on New Manhattan Studio's HERE: