New Set with Nathan Appel is up:
NATHAN MOTHERFUCKIN’ APPEL:
Every time I shoot with Nathan (@nathanappel) it gets better, and each time I shoot with Nathan, it gets more harrowing.
The first time we shot together, he picked me up in Santa Maria and took me to a dive motel where for twenty bucks extra, we got the hot tub suite. He bought me a wedding dress at the thrift store and as soon as I jumped in the tub, an acrid stench was released into the air.
And just when the dress came off, the power went out. The shoot went on with only a single beauty light. (Hey, it’s ALL I need!)
The second time we shot together, he broke his tooth on the way over and we spent most of the shoot drinking gin and grape soda and talking about how he might take care of his tooth without any money. He took a lot of pictures of me in an eyepatch, hanging out with my pitbulls.
He also took one of the most magical sets ever in the yard that I grew up in.
This time, he got a flat tire in Atascadero and then got a speeding ticket, so he didnt’ get to the location until the sun was almost setting.
On top of that, during my visit back home, I think the sun has only come out once or twice. I’ve been living in a strange ether of fog and cold for weeks. It’s been good for character building I guess. I feel like I’m some hinterland most of the time, more distant than ever from the home I left behind to move to NYC and start my life.
I’m staying in my childhood bedroom, surrounding by curios from a time that feels increasing foreign to me. Sometimes I feel like the detective in my own life story, wondering why I was so fascinated with the Virgin Mary or collecting antique keys. (Why do have so many figurines of a virgin?!?)
This time when Nathan and I shot I was in the middle of recording a video for JM Darling and sending out emails to everyone who came to the West Coast benefit for Jessie Lee and bought prints.
We spent a long time talking about pornography and whether or not I’m going to venture into adult work.
The conversation drifted, as it always does between him and I, to what it meant to be an artist and our relationship to our work.
I actively seek out an audience for what I do. I think people have too many choices for you just to wait around for them to figure out that you’re there. Nathan doesn’t really care if anyone sees his work or not. He’s the far nobler of course.
I just want to be loved or something.
Nathan built a large format polaroid camera and we took a lot of amazing pictures of me in some vintage lingerie my ladyboi gave me and an old mask I had lying around.
He felt that I came out with something darker and more intense this shoot together.
It might be true.
When we went to dinner I was answering questions for an interview I have in a magazine coming up. The writer was wondering how I felt about the state of erotica and why I was appealing as a model.
I didn’t know what to answer. I don’t really think of myself that way.
“What do you think?” I asked.
“You look like one of those models from the early nineties,” he said, “Your face, it’s like Cindy Crawford or you know those girls from the age of the supermodel. You know what I’m talking about?”
I wrote down, “My ass intellect.”
We talked a lot about the move to the moving picture as a trend in erotic photography. He talked a lot about how not new that really was. We delved into the vision for Darling House and what I hope it will become. We talked about social networking and business and all the other things that artists seem to regard with a strange kind of ambivalence.
We can’t seem to figure if the internet is an audience worthy of anything truly artful, of if they are forever too churlish…then again, people read this thing so…somewhere there an audience interested in something more sophisticated than animated gifs of girls getting facefucked.
“If you want me to film you and Josh,” he said before he left, “I will…unless that’d be weird for you guys.”
“Nothing’s weird for me and Josh,” I said, “We love weird.”