Visit my Website for all the blurbs, excerpts and news!!

Visit my Website for all the blurbs, excerpts and news!!
Visit my Website for all the blurbs, excerpts and news!!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Q&A with flondo - yes, he talks! ;-)

It’s not easy to get flondo to talk (he is after all, a man of few words), and he especially dislikes talking about himself. But making Eye Music together allowed me some glimpses of the man behind the pictures which tickled my curiosity. Finally, I decided to corner him and interview him.

I think it may have hurt a little; there was definitely some growling and hissing involved, but he actually did answer questions! Here it is, Q&A with flondo!


K: Reading your bio in Eye Music, I see you mention a background in the theatre. I am so curious! Where did you work, what did you do?
f: For many years at the National Theatre of Great Britain. I assisted my then wife, the Wig Mistress (Joyce Beagarie, now retired) in running the wig department. We worked closely with the costume designers and costume department to create characters in every timeframe.
We made and daily redressed wigs, did special effects makeup, and did a lot of babysitting. ("Actors are children playing hide and ego seek" - quote from 'Applause' - my first West End musical). Over the years our wig-making companies helped create a few little shows - (Evita, Cats, Phantom, to name a couple)
With period hairdressing as a specialty, I was occasionally invited to advise on or participate in the making of a television programme or series. The first of my own - so to speak - was 'A Woman of Substance', a piece that still makes me proud today.

K: And what about the film business?
f: All here:

K: Some of your photos look so painterly. Did you ever actually paint?
f: In art school, I was considered good. As a teen I dabbled in oils - at the time oils was the only recognized 'ART'.
Even sold some - landscapes, bad copies of 'Modern Art' - YUK! When I look back on it.
There were some watercolours that I still remember.

K: About photography… when/how did you start taking pictures? 
f: My first real memory is as a child, standing on a chair to take a photo of Christmas dinner with a 'Brownie', probably around 1960. As a teenager I bought my first real camera at about 15, a 'Praktica'. I did mainly candid shots, flowers and landscapes.

K: And the pictures of men?

f: Having created men in photoshop, making what I called my 'Frankenpeople', and embelishing them, I tired of fake men and decided, about 5 years ago, to start shooting them myself.
For many years my creative juices were normally being used in my theatre and film work, as well as doing hair and makeup for some photographers.
I hadn't picked up a camera in years other than to take holiday snaps and stuff like that, and working with these amazing photographers was rather intimidating, so I didn't shoot, but eyes and soul always open, I learned, not by rote, but by osmosis.

K: And where/how/when did you learn to use Photoshop?
f: While working with one particular photographer in the nineties, I noticed that his/our work was being really messed up by the advertising agencies he worked for. Bad airbrushing and close cutting were sometimes laughable and destroyed the work we did (we were still using film then, and counting frames).
At the time Photoshop was young, but I knew I could do better (there are many things you can do in post-production that you can't do with a make-up brush).
So, I found a Photoshop program. I was totally lost, but having decided to conquer it, I did. I can't claim to be an expert, but I do what I do.

K: Indeed! How do you get the inspiration for all the different fantasy worlds that beckon from your pictures? Readings, other art, the model themselves, dreams out of your head?
f: Inspiration comes from everywhere.
I have long been an admirer of Jacques-Louis David's art as well as that of Caravaggio. Classic/classical artists have always been a draw for me. I have spent hours in galleries simply absorbing certain pieces of art, and have inhabited Art galleries most of my adult life when I could.
Now that I don't travel much, I get to visit online those I have no physical access to.

The end results of my planned shoot may not even be what my initial idea was. I may start with an image in my head, yes I know it sound cliché, but as I work the image creates itself, and that may be in the camera or in Photoshop.
Working with any model is a challenge in itself. I don't just do 'naked man standing', there must to be something else, or it is simply boring to me.

K: Speaking of which, what makes you decide if a model "will do"?
f: Everyone has 'Model' potential, but Personality is a must. Not everyone HAS one.
I have my personal preferences as to looks - but, hey, it's a visual art.
I rarely have the opportunity to photograph my own fantasy, but I create for others.
My fantasies are personal, but come out somewhat in my art.

K: All your models are very different, but have always have "special eyes". Do you pick them for “eye power”, or does that come out in the pictures because you are so damn good a photographing them?
f: That is something I couldn't possibly explain. Perhaps it is the relationship I create with a model.
Like first impressions, it's the first few moments of meeting that dictate the end result of a shoot, be it the first and only shoot, or on a long term basis (and sometimes Photoshop helps).
And no I do not sleep with my models. Well, not anymore. Sleeping with your model creates a completely different bond/level, and I cannot look at the photo as an image alone. It changes what I do with an image.

K: And props? Where are all the beautiful props from? f: Most of my props are fabrics - a few suitcases’ worth of them. Other stuff may be from the location I am shooting at, the model’s wardrobe, or things lying around. I have a small collection of jewels - cheap, dollar store variety, that is very useful. Children’s toys can always become something else :)) (rainbow ropes - swords etc). Others are regularly added in Photoshop, even the backdrops.

K: Where do they all go after the shoot is over?
f: Back in the coffee tins and suitcases in the storage locker.

K: What possessed you to associate yourself with a loony poet for your new book?
f: I fell in love with her work online and then started communicating with a wonderful creature, and in a mad moment I thought that it might be a good idea to combine our talents, hence - "Eye Music".
The title Eye music comes from a comment on one of my online pics - someone said - 'this is Music for my eyes'.

K: :-)
Thank you for your time. It was great to have you here!


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Musica per gli Occhi - un libro a quattro mani

Musica per gli Occhi unisce due artisti e due arti nella celebrazione di amore, creatività, erotismo e della gloriosa bellezza dell’uomo.

Le immagini di flondo, profonde, spesso erotiche, a volte provocanti, sempre uniche, hanno trovato voce nelle sensuali, intricate, appassionate poesie di K.W.

Sia che voi leggiate, o guardate, o studiate parole ed immagini mentre si spiegano insieme, ispirandosi e completandosi a vicenda, questa collezione sognante, splendidamente composta, merita d’essere contemplata senza fretta.


Musica per gli Occhi è nato quasi per caso, da un’amicizia tra un fotografo di poche parole (dice di se stesso che parla a telegrammi) e una poetessa in cerca di una musa ispiratrice.


Poco meno di un anno fa, un pomeriggio, apro la mia pagina Flickr, e trovo che un certo flondo (l’iniziale minuscola è di proposito) ha ‘preferito’ una delle mio foto. Un girasole rosso. E’ un periodo morto sulla mia pagina Flickr, ogni preferito è interessante, vediamo chi è questo flondo, mi dico. Mi aspetto un giardiniere, per via del girasole, invece quando le sue foto iniziano ad apparire (connessione di campagna, ci vuole tempo) faccio un doppio salto mortale all’indietro, sedia da campeggio e tutto. Cavoli, guarda che bei fiori!

Non c’è bisogno di spiegare che fiori e giardini c’entravano ben poco.

Come descrivere il photostream di flondo?

Uno studio sognante, sofisticato, inesauribile della bellezza maschile? Scabbroso, poetico, bizzarro, spudorato, talvolta classico, occasionalmente barocco, sempre elegante, e soprattutto intenso.

Flondo può vestire I suoi modelli con qualsiasi cosa (una calza a rete, un taglio di broccato, una camicia, o perchè no, un filo di perle) e in un modo o nell’altro è sempre sexy.

E poi c’è la luce. Forse la luce viaggia più lenta a Toronto, o forse flondo ha un dono soprannaturale, perchè la luce nelle sue foto è addomesticata. Qua sfiora la pelle di un modello e la fa splendere come velluto vivo. Alcune foto le si può quasi sentire con le dita. Altrove la luce disegna ombre su fondali bianchi, e riflessi nel nero, trasformando un corpo scultoreo in un bronzo di sogno.

Alcuni dei suoi modelli sono perfetti, altri sono irsuti e ‘veri’. Flondo sa come esprimere la sensualità di ognuno.

Grazie a un uso esperto di photoshop, nelle sue foto non c’è confine tra realtà e fantasia. E’ un fotografo quasi pittore, o un pittore in fotografia, non saprei. Nelle sue foto c’è non un mondo immaginario ma mille. Non si sa mai cosa si inventerà domani tranne che sarà bellissimo e, soprattutto, mai scontato.

Ma la cosa più importante è che le sue foto hanno qualcosa di vivo, specialmente se le si esplora in gran numero su Flickr; ha un talento per scoprire ed esprimere qualcosa di particolare negli occhi dei suoi modelli, e tutti questi occhi, occhi su occhi su occhi, occhi oscuri, sensuali, pensierosi, assorti, a volte sorridenti, a volte minacciosi, terribilmente presenti, o persi in una visione interiore, tutti questi occhi sembrano seguirti quando passi.

Gli uomini di flondo ti guardano mentre li guardi, e sussurrano alle tue spalle appena ti volti. Sei sempre sul punto di afferrarne le parole, ma mai del tutto.

Cosa dicono?

Non so lo per certo. Non mi rimane che scrivere poesie, tessere le mie parole e le mie storie nel mistero dei loro sussurri.

Ho trovato la mia musa.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Eye Music, a teaser

Eye Music, the coffee table book by flondo and yours truly will soon be available!

I wrote about flondo's pictures some time ago ( here ), so I will now spend a few words on my poems.
Poetry is something that comes to me in bouts; it never rains, it only pours, as they say. Not a line shows up for years, so I think I lost my voice, and fret and mope, then all of a sudden a muse appears out of the strangest corners, and I cannot keep the words out of my head. They spring, they glitter, they are all over the place.
Eye Music features a selection of poems from four different bouts, four very different muses, spanning about 15 years of writing.
The following teaser includes two of my earliest poems.

The text comes in two languages, Italian, my native tongue, and English, the language I prefer nowadays. Some poems were written in Italian and later translated to English, and viceversa. The two languages are so different that the translation is a bit of a challenge, but also, sometimes, an opportunity to explore the words from a different angle.

I never imagined to publish these lines, they come from a very tender place of my soul, until flondo came along and teased them out of me.
I am now infinitely happy and honoured to let them see the light beside his gorgeous and mysterious photos.


Eye Music brings together two artists and two different mediums in the celebration of love, art, eroticism, and the glorious beauty of man.
Flondo’s elegant, soulful, often erotic, sometimes provoking, always unique pictures have found a voice in K.W.’s lyrical, intricate, sensuous poems.

Whether you read, or look, or watch words and images unfolding together as they inspire and complement each other, this dreamy, masterfully composed collection deserves unhurried contemplation.