As a segue from our last Hunk of the Day, to our next Hunk of the Day (coming up later this afternoon), I offer a bit of both to bridge the sexy gap.
Introducing Benjamin Godfre, the Hunk of the Day. Mr. Godfre is a model, but dabbles in many other things as well, some of which are on their way to his website. I’ve been an admirer of his for a while, impressed by his mellow attitude, fun and carefree style, and his bravery in putting it all out there in photographic essays that are edgy, raw, uninhibited, and challenging. It’s one thing to bare your soul, quite another to bare your body, and there’s no telling which is more difficult on any given day. That’s the kind of photography – and model – I love most. The daring and the baring. The ones that make you squirm every-so-slightly, the ones that make you wonder. They’re also the ones that make you watch, because you never know quite how far they’ll go. It is an exquisite tension, one that results in the beauty seen before you – because that will always be beautiful to me. Nothing great ever came from playing it safe.
From the land Down Under, the Hunk of the Day is Daniel Goddard. One of the first places I started to realize that men were more attractive to me than women was on daytime television, particularly the steamy soap operas that had their leading men disrobe more than their leading women. Given that the viewing audience was skewed decidedly toward the female side, it made sense, and I was not one to complain. Mr. Goddard appears on ‘The Young and the Restless’, but might also be familiar from his shirtless work on ‘The Beastmaster’. (How ever did I miss that show?) He’s a popular presence on Twitter as well, and anyone who has a #StopBullying hashtag on his profile is a friend of mine.
Continuing our tenth-anniversary celebration of www.ALANILAGAN.com, we are putting the StoneLight project into the spotlight. It was shot in 2007, in the hushed stillness and quiet of various cemeteries. Out of respect, whenever I drove past the gates into a cemetery, I’d shut off the radio or the CD that was playing, and allow the silence to be an offering of honor to the dead. Silly, perhaps, but something I felt was necessary. When compiling the photos and putting the project together, however, I turned the music back on. Whenever I complete a Project, or am in the process of creating one, I usually think of an inspiration song or two that sets the mood for the piece. Music, perhaps more than anything else, can always set a scene. For the StoneLight work, I listened to Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto.
It has a slow, contemplative cadence that is a perfect reflection of time marching on, and viewing StoneLight while listening to this music can become an almost-spiritual affair, which is precisely the feel of that Project. The slowly-shifting shadows moving over stone, the textures of carved rock mottled by lichens, and the varying gradations of gray perfectly complement the somber pace of the concerto. The architecture of the human form is revealed in sculpture, each rib counted on the depressed keys of a piano. There is a stately nobility to the proceedings (in spite of all the nudity) and only the proper piece of music can convey that.
At first glance, you might think he’s nothing but a go-go boy, but Matthew Camp somehow manages to be so much more. Artist, model, fashion plate, dancer – he’s one of those Renaissance men that does so many things so well there’s no reason to confine his goals into something as small as a single label. (He can add the prestigious ‘Hunk of the Day‘ title to that list.) It’s a vain complaint that the beautiful among us have their own difficulties as well, but it’s no less true, and sometimes being seen as being beautiful – and nothing else – is a trap worse than all the lashes of the ugly whip, and more insidiously hurtful. Luckily, Mr. Camp embraces both his beauty and his charms, and has a good time whatever he’s doing. Case in point would be his modeling sessions with photographer Edwin Pabon (who took the photos here).
When he collaborates with Mr. Pabon, something magical happens, and that elusive alchemy between photographer and model crystallizes into something that transcends a few sexy images. Mr. Pabon may be his greatest chronicler, the Herb Ritts or Steven Meisel to his Madonna, and together they craft photographs that contain both instant beauty, and something deeper – an invitation to a story, a glimpse into a beginning, or an ending, and the mythical in-between leaves just enough to the imagination.
The beauty of a man is a curious thing. So often we demand that it contain strength and brutality, raw and naked energy, brute force and rough edges. Personally, I prefer a picture that offers a sense of vulnerability, a softness in the gaze, a friendliness in the eyes, the subtle crinkle of a smile. I also like something with a slightly raw edge, a nerve slightly exposed, leading to a jolt of electricity. Mr. Camp exemplifies this, with a playful wink in every pose, and Mr. Pabon captures it with a knowing click of the shutter.
This is one of the new features of the site – a brief collection of classic shots, culled from within the last ten years of www.ALANILAGAN.com. I’m starting with some of the older ones, as those are the ones that have already been forgotten, (and in which I look rather younger…) This particular batch is from a session for ‘The Divine Diva Tour: A Fairy’s Tale’ back in 2005. I think only one of them was actually used. As for that Project, I thought long and hard about putting it online, but determined that the world is not quite ready for me in drag – not like that. Perhaps one day…
You like to watch, don’t you?
It was one of the first sentences I ever spoke aloud as a child: I like to watch.
We all do, especially the more inquisitive and curious among us. We might feel there’s something safe in being the watcher instead of the watched, but there are dangers inherent in both, and a risk to all showing, telling, and receiving. When the watcher becomes the watched, that’s when things get tricky. In watching you may feel you have the upper hand, but that’s mere deception. When you’re watching, you’re rarely living. You’re not the one performing the action being looked at, you’re not the one participating. You are observer, removed and impotent from involvement.
Dare you turn your gaze inward? Dare you put yourself out there? It’s so easy to watch someone else do it, so easy to judge and condemn, lurking and hiding from all the other eyes in snarky darkness. What would happen if you drew your own curtain back? Would you be brave enough to face such a chilly world?
Before the year ends I’m planning one more weekend in my beloved Boston. I recall sneaking in an end-of-the-year visit here last year as well, when my friend Kira unexpectedly joined me for one final hurrah before facing another Winter. The blush is already off the holidays, and when expectations are low it makes for happier results. For this weekend, I am looking for quiet and peace, stillness and meditation. And maybe just the slightest bit of shopping, because otherwise I wouldn’t know myself.
A book, some green tea, an afternoon in an empty bedroom. Solace and solitude.
Before the year ends, and as an early Christmas gift to those visitors who have remained loyal as this website was revamped (and continues to be), I give you this brief collection of some of our finest specimens. These are just a few of the most popular men from the Hunk of the Day series, compiled in one post for your viewing pleasure. Happy Holidays to all!
Let’s begin with Chris Evans (above, and sent from heaven). The only thing I’ve ever seen him in was ‘The Avengers’. And shirtless photo shoots. As much as I loved ‘The Avengers’, the latter was still more exciting.
A British accent is one of the sexiest sounds in the world, so Harry Judd is as much a hunk for his killer body as he is for the way he talks. Sometimes – most of the time – sexy is more than skin-deep. (Oh, and he got honored a second time too.)
Lest we leave out swimming in a Speedo, one of the most popular “hunks” was Tom Daley from across the pond. The London Olympics would not have been the same without him. (And he got a second nod as well…)
Is there a greater hyphenate than actor-model? Not when you’re built like Shemar Moore.
He’s starring in the new film version of ‘Les Miserables’, and though I have yet to hear him sing, if Nick Jonas can handle the vocals, then surely our Hunk of the Day Eddie Redmayne can hold his own notes too. Mr. Redmayne took a while to grow on me, but he’s come into his own.
Concluding our day of male models, I offer you this former Hunk of the Day, David Gandy. It pushes the limits of what I normally post on this NSFW site, but if I’ve already been banned where you work (as I have where I work) then Mr. Gandy’s almost-full-frontal shot here won’t make much of a difference. And his ass, well, we have never drawn that line. Where words fail, beauty speaks.
Is that a gun near his pocket or is he just happy to see me? While tattoos are not usually my thing, I’ll suspend that foolish rule for the sake of this bad boy, male model Mateus Verdelho. Is he bad because of his tats, or are his tats bad because of him. (I sincerely hope you didn’t come here today for the written word.) All we have are salacious pubic shots, all day and half of the night.
It’s a refreshing affirmation in the world when someone good-looking also has a heart of gold. In this case our Hunk of the Day, Ronnie Kroell, is just as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside. His winning personality took him into the finals of ‘Make Me A Supermodel’, and he has since gone on to tastefully grace the cover of Playgirl (where most of these shots were from) and appear in several films (Including the upcoming “Scrooge & Marley”). Those accomplishments notwithstanding, his greatest role may be his Executive Producer status on the new FRIEND film project.
The FRIEND film sounds both intriguing and a way of making a difference in the world. Here’s the background according to the website:
The story follows the life of two seniors in high school, Brad and Alejandro. Their lives are ones we can relate to; Brad, a straight A student, active with the school’s football team, the definition of your typical all-American male teenager. Alejandro, a good student, artistic, stays clear of petty school politics; a definable hipster finding his place in the world.
The two meet as juniors, and the sparks rapidly see the two teens to becoming a couple. Everything about the relationship follows its natural course, until Brad begins to face the suppressed doubts about his gender identity. The film takes a journey of self-discovery, bullying, and acceptance.