Monthly Archives: January 2014

An Interview with China Hamilton…

portrait

I posed a number of questions to this famous fine art photographer of the erotic, with an emphasis on his aims and motivations in the production of his more controversial work.

MM: Why did you move into more demanding and explicit imagery, away from socially safe erotic art nudes?

It wasn’t something that was done with any conscious thought but rather something that evolved from and was driven by, my female subjects and their desires to express and explore their darker fantasies and for me to record them.

Photo: China Hamilton

Photo: China Hamilton

MM: Can you enlarge upon this?

China: I have always worked with both friends and indeed lovers rather than hired models. I have never paid for someone to pose for my camera. I feel that as soon as it becomes a commercial relationship, that the essential intimacy is lost. I believe the underling secret of my work, lies in my subjects being completely at ease and engaging in what could be described as a joint venture. What is captured by the camera is happening for real. If sexual pleasure is present it is real arousal, if humiliation is revealed in their body language it is real, if they show suffering or pain then it is equally genuine.

 MM: How much do you feel is contributed by your subjects, models to the scenes that are portrayed? 

China:  It is a complete collaboration. Often lengthy discussions take place before hand, both of course face to face and often by email before they arrive with me.

We discuss with complete candour their usually very private fantasies and desires to experience certain things. Obviously I take their accounts and suggestions and offer them ways that such things can be explored. I sometimes build a special piece of equipment to facilitate their desired experience or source devices and specialist items that will be used.

Photo China Hamilton

Photo China Hamilton

MM: Just how ‘real’ are the captured moments we see in your work? Your work has a very distinctive signature of darkness and mood, how and why is that achieved?

China:  I have been known to work with a subject over a period of days, I have almost always worked alone, just myself and the woman. There have been times when for practical reasons I have needed the help of another man, with say heavy lifting requirements or even the rare presence of a man in the pictures. Normally it is just myself and my subject. The scene is explored as one would in any normal BDSM union, however I must remain unemotionally involved, as I have to pause things to move lights and of course take the pictures. This is though not something done in a studio but taking place in a real environment. As I have said nothing is faked. I do though sometimes, even in darkroom printing days, remove marks of flagellation that may have accumulated from previous moments, so that it appears that the subject is starting again from scratch in a new scene.

Photo China Hamilton

Photo China Hamilton

MM: Your work has a very distinctive signature of darkness and mood, how and why is that achieved?

China:  My art and my photography must do much more than just record what is taking place at any moment. I love the libertine world of the Victorians when so much went on in secret and in the flickering light of candles and gas-light. When dominance and submission were explored in the dark of the night in some massive old house. The interplay of power and money with the permissiveness of position. I wish to re-create this world for the voyeuristic pleasures of those who enjoy my work. People must be able to use their imaginations to decide what has gone before and perhaps what is about to happen. The still image must present, often ambiguous moments, that draw the viewer’s mind in and permit it to engage its own fantasies. I try to be like a writer who does not provide too much information but rather just sets the parameters of a scene letting the reader paint their own pictures. What is interesting is that my most devoted fans seem to be women.

Photo China Hamilton

Photo China Hamilton

Thank you China for sharing some of your ‘secrets’ behind your work and contributing a few images from your vast archive. I know that interested people can learn much more about your philosophy and see a large range of work on your web site, ChinaHamilton.com 

Something from the China Hamilton archive

As many of you are aware, I have an ongoing collabouration with internationally renown erotic artist China Hamilton. China has  decided to review the considerable archive we have achieved together and reveal to the world some, up until now, undiscovered Miss Myers gems. Now have you been good enough for me to share one of these with you? Well, here you go; as I always say, my problem is that I am far to kind and indulgent!

Miss Myers takes up the flute

Miss Myers takes up the flute

 

Miss Myers in Jade Magazine

I am rather chuffed to have my image in Jade Magazine, which features work from erotic artists both established and new, as part of a 11 page spread by my good friend and talented photographer Robert Babylon. In my opinion, Robert’s work really stands out not only for its technical prowess but also its originality; Robert is making quite a name for himself with his innovative photography using UV lighting. Robert was kind enough to comment that the quality of the model also has a direct impact on the quality of the work. There are a couple of pages from the magazine below. The question is; can you spot me in each!

p25 with credits2

p31 with credits2

The Curious Incident….

On the 12th December I was sitting in the Apollo Theatre waiting for the performance of the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time to commence. My friend had kindly bought me tickets for my Birthday and I was very intrigued this fascinating book  would be interpreted on the stage.

Miss Myers: A lady at serious risk of getting sensible!

Miss Myers: A lady at serious risk of getting sensible!

It was a bit of a challenge trying to get to our seats. In order to accommodate the stage, the seats were all rather squashed together and gangways allowing access were limited and narrow. There were even some slightly short-tempered exchanges as people tried to manoeuvre themselves into place. Once me and friend were finally settled I distinctly remember thinking,

 “I hope there isn’t a fire as it would be a nightmare getting out of here!”

I then felt momentarily depressed, what with it being my Birthday, at having such a profoundly sensible thought; the like of which would certainly not have occurred to me 10 years ago. I was not in the doldrums for long however, as the play started, utterly capturing my attention. But more of that in a moment….

A week later, on the 19th December, I was leaving a dinner when I received a text message from a friend, who knew of my intention to see the Curious Incident at around that time, saying she hoped I wasn’t at the Apollo Theatre that evening as the ceiling had fallen in! Suddenly my concerns regarding health and safety at the seemed most pertinent, as opposed to the neuroses of an aging mind, seeing as exactly a week a go I had been sitting in the very stalls which received the brunt of the debris!

Luke Threadway as Christopher  Photo: Alastair Muir

Luke Threadway as Christopher
Photo: Alastair Muir

However, collapsing ceilings aside, it is well worth going to see the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, once the show is up and running again (from 24th June and the Guilgud Theatre).

Luke Treadaway’s performance as Christopher, a 15-year-old boy with Asperagers syndrome, was hilarious, moving, and uncomfortably raw in turn and at no time anything other that 100% convincing. Whilst the staging creatively externalized the workings of Christopher’s mind, making particularly visceral the information overload of a tube station and the calming logic of his numeric inner world. The narrative was swift and engaging, encompassing a murder mystery along with the messiness of adult relationships all from the unique and brutally clear perspective of a boy who cannot lie. All in all, worth risking a run in with some falling plaster!

 

 

Start 2014 the Way you intend to continue….

Are you OK down there?

Do you come here often?

A Happy New Year to one and all. I hope you saw the New Year in suitable style. I knew I did. All I am revealing is that much Gin was consumed. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this New Year’s offering. This is not quite my usual retro tastes. However, I must say I like this lady’s disinterested expression with just a hint of cool amusement at this poor chap’s dilemma….

Also, she is wearing a fabulous pair of shoes very similar to a pair I have just purchased in the sales which lucky boys may get to see!