Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Favorite Composer!





Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Alan

Again using the 14th Street Train Station these pictures of Alan utilze the contrast between urban decay and the perfection of the human form...



Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

A Final Frost

Its May 1994 and Monty and I are driving down Seven Mile Road headed towards his Mothers house. It's A nice cool but sunny spring day. As we slow to cross some tracks the world changes in such a radical way as to catch both of our attentions.
Camera in tow we agree that the phenomenon has to be captured in some way. Over the previous evening the north/south tracks were covered in a thick white frost that was preserved by cool airflow forced through that area by the surrounding buildings and trees. The temperature out side of the zone is 65 degrees and quickly rising causing the frost to begin to evaporate in a light fog. Everything you could see for hundreds of yards is literally white as if it had snowed, yet the coating was very thin. It was a once in a lifetime backdrop... and these are some of the first pictures I ever took of Monty. Less than 20 minutes later the white was gone...




Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth 60



This evening at 8:00 P.M. many of the lights in Toronto were turned off as part of Earth 60 2008. Many lights were already off as sunset turned into night. The first of the big three bank corporate logos, TD switched off right at 8 followed soon after by Scotiabank, BMO went almost 10 minutes later...not sure what the hook up was. The massive lights of Dundas Square blinked out and the core of down town was lit almost solely by ground cover lights. One of the most startling aspects of the event was the rare appearance of stars! A reminder that there once was a time when the city lights didn't exist and the heavens lite the sky and inspired us. At 9:00 P.M. the lights slowly and methodically started to come back on and it was over.

Images from the Toronto Star show the dramatic effect of the evening from the waterfront. Below are my images of the changing skyline as the event progressed.


Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Introducing Joe!


Recently I have had the pleasure of conversation with a fellow photographer and friend Joe from the U.K. An excellent photographer Joe has a photo site showcasing his talent. Manfoto Enjoy!

All Images by Joe!
Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

What is Truth?


I woke up this morning and like every day for the past 10+ years I flipped on the Today Show on NBC. Normally their light hearted humor and informative take on the morning news gets me going with out the jarring effect of CNN.
This morning was different and I must say I was disappointed with my favorite news anchor Ann Curry who unlike most mornings was hell bent to create an issue out of thin air with her ram rod questioning of CNBC's Donny Deutsch and humorist/TV commentator Nancy Giles about the Lebron, Gisele Vogue cover. My commute to work on the train was filled with a sadness as I began to realize that it wasn't just this cover issue but several issues of the past few days. I ruminated all day on weather I would break with the format of my blog to vent on some these disappointing moments of humanity. So here I am...let me move this off my chest for a second.

So here it is, this months Vogue cover of Lebron James and supermodel Gisele, the image was taken by celeb photographer Annie Liebovitz. Showing her typical style of capturing the essence of both of her subjects, a pro basketball player (large by virtue of the sport) and the high fashion model. When I first saw the cover in passing I knew she had taken the image... I can pick people styles as easily as I can see my own. As I flipped through the magazine that I ended up buying...there were several other parings of models and athletes in the spread, though none of the other images had the same visual impact as the cover... This morning I wake up to this punishing interview and controversy where Ann Curry seemed hell bent on promoting that we now see it as the embodiment of racial and sexual stereotypes, that it's a depiction of an aggressive, black man in a King Kong-like pose, embracing a white woman, a Fay Wray-like "damsel in distress." I wanted to punch my TV!!! worse yet I was disappointed in Ann Curry. First Lebron was captured in a typical Lebron style as a competitive sportsman and Gisele (smiling) looked nothing like a damsel in distress!

While I am all to aware of the representational issues being expressed here I was saddened by the lack of common sense and the presses need to create news through contrived controversy. I am disappointed in our inability as humans to find our way out of this racial abyss that has no end, and I am forced to realize that many people have a vested interest, personal and financial on both sides of the issue to make sure the abyss is never traversed safely.

On to the next story... As I have repeatedly said I am not here to sway anyone politically, and I have always posted stuff as things to inform ones own mind... but there are some things that I just don't understand.


Apparently this is Hillary running for cover from snipper fire after leaving the relative safety of a C17 in Bosnia.

Now I am not going to pass judgment on anyone about the use of hyperbole, everyone could and would be found guilty of its use from time to time. Myself included! My disappointment comes at her arrogant response to her story about the sniper fire she so vividly remembered and described repeatedly in chilling detail to buttress her claims of foreign policy “experience” that never happened. "I say millions of words everyday, I simply mispoke myself" Basically get over it "I was tired" After initially dismissing the controversy over her comments as a "minor blip", she told a Pittsburgh radio station: "You know I have written about this and described it in many different settings and I did misspeak the other day. This has been a very long campaign. Occasionally, I am a human being like everybody else." She insisted it was the "first time in 12 years" she had spoken inaccurately about the trip. But her Bosnia anecdote has been a regular feature of her stump speeches. On the trip, the then First Lady and her daughter Chelsea, then 16, emerged smiling from a C-17 transport plane to be met by Emina Bicakcic, eight, who told them: "There is peace now because Mr Clinton signed it. All this peace. I love it."

I have always believed that several elements of civility have fallen since the late sixties/early seventies. We are confronted by truths that had long gone covered up by the civilized sensibilities of the 50's Carl Bernstein was at the epicenter of one those seminal moments - Watergate.... we have all seen the world different from that moment. Ironicly he weighs in today by quoting some passages from his Hillary biography A Woman in Charge: "Hillary Clinton has many admirable qualities, but candor and openness and transparency and a commitment to well-established fact have not been notable among them. The indisputable elements of her Bosnian adventure affirm (again) the reluctant conclusion I reached in the final chapter of A Woman In Charge, my biography of her published last June:

“Since her Arkansas years [I wrote], Hillary Rodham Clinton has always had a difficult relationship with the truth… [J]udged against the facts, she has often chosen to obfuscate, omit, and avoid. It is an understatement by now that she has been known to apprehend truths about herself and the events of her life that others do not exactly share. ”

“Almost always, something holds her back from telling the whole story, as if she doesn’t trust the reader, listener, friend, interviewer, constituent—or perhaps herself—to understand the true significance of events…”

The Bosnian episode is a watershed event, because it indelibly brings to mind so many examples of this tendency– from the White House years and, worse, from Hillary Clinton’s take-no-prisoners presidential campaign. Her record as a public person is replete with “misstatements” and elisions and retracted and redacted and revoked assertions…


To further deflect she further inflamed the Obama campaign with "He would not have been my pastor," Clinton told a gathering of the campaign press corps, repeating a line she used earlier in the day on a Pittsburgh radio program. "You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend." A seeming retraction from her comments last week.

Again I am saddened by the race card being engaged by Hillary, wasn't Bill the "first black president?" I guess not. And what of the picture of Bill and Hillary and Reverend Wright all about?

Civility, Truth, Morals, Racism all churning into one big mess.. Finally I am wounded by the events in Detroit the past few weeks. Kwame ... 44,000 text messages??!!!

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick being arraigned in 36th District Court in Detroit on felony perjury charges.

The Carges stem from text messages he had between himself and his former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty whom he had an extra marital affair. The content of the text messages clearly show that he lied in a civil case between him and some Detroit City employees who had been let go with out cause. That case settled out of court for millions that Detroit had to pay and woefully needed to stay afloat.

Detroit has for three decades tried, sometimes clawing its self out of the racial abyss of the riots of the 60's. I wonder if the police who busted the blind pig(speak easy) all those years ago ever thought that their actions would propel Detroit into one of the biggest race riots in American history and into a subsequent hole so deep that we would still be struggling in 2008 to get out? I wonder if Carl Berstein thought by outing Richard Nixon that America would slide slowly down the proverbial slope to the place it sits today?

Honesty seems subjective when it should be objective... Race remains the millstone around Americas neck with both sides adding to the weight and drowning together in the process. My hometown sliding into the Detroit river because of lies and deception.

It used to be better, even if it only seemed better... will it ever get better?

I'm done rambling, thanks for letting me vent.

All photos and some text by AP(uncredited)& Annie Liebovitz.
Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Calla Lilies For Easter




I have always associated the Calla Lily with religion. The art the lily symbolizes purity, and as the flower of the Resurrection and of the Virgin it is widely used at Easter. As they can sometimes symbolize chastity, and innocence, white lilies represent the purity of the Virgin Mary. The Angel Gabriel was often painted presenting Mary with a white lily when he announced to her that she would give birth to the Son of God.

These images were taken on my trip to San Fransisco


Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Good Friday!


Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Great Start to Easter Weekend!







Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Toronto Showing Off The Green! ................ Happy St. Patricks Day!



The pride of Toronto's sky line The CN Tower is glowing GREEN this weekend as perhaps the worlds largest symbol of St. Patrick's Day!
Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

The Michiee and the Window


One of my earliest images of the western portico of the 14th Street Train Station a series of images of Michiee under the massive arch. I know its an early image as much of the glass is still into he window frams and was largely gone just a couple year later.
Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dana

Another one of my 14th Street Train station shoots, shot at the request of Dana's girlfriend I captured some of my best images to date. Iconic, with almost a Greek influence made even more ironic given his affiliation to a fraternity. Marked with the brands of Greek symbols down both arms and clad in an almost white toga like fashion. Of all the images I have taken it is these that get the most interest in galleries as they elicit a classical period that I think people still connect with.




Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Post 250! Happy 42 Monty!

I've come to my 250th post since starting this blog in 2005 and it seems like I have just started! My 250th post is dedicated to my late friend Montrice Bellamy who would have turned 42 today. If you have been reading my previous posts Monty was very supportive of my photographic work and was one of my more prolific models early on. His support and friendship will never be forgotten! Always thinking about you buddy! Happy Birthday!

Monty at one of his and Corey's parties...

Monty and Me!

Monty, Corey and I at the Lincoln Memorial

Corey, Monty and Perry in Times Square...

Mont and Me at Toronto Pride

Which one is Stella?

Ahh simpler times... Hanging out in the park drinking malt liquor...

The Tommy Patrol!

Tongue ring action in the car!

The consummate host till the end!

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Words From My Life

In addition to photography and painting I often would often be compelled to write words to a page. At times poems and other words would burst out in emotional torrents that seemingly needed to be released as a way of processing emotional baggage that I was carrying to long. Sometimes the words were a result of being emotionally overwhelmed at the though of someone I cared for. I am not a poet nor a writer by trade and for the most part words do not come easily for me, so when these possessed moments happened I always considered them significant creative moments.

This first poem I wrote for someone I cared for, but who seemed emotionally unavailable to me and it scared me off from a serious relationship. Ironicly we are still good friends and I consider his council to be grounding for me and therefore he remains significant in my life.

On the Shore of Your Soul

It hits me everytime I see
you or hear your voice.

Wave upon wave washing over
my body as I stand onthe shore
of your heart.

The warm waters dare me to
dive in, but your strong
tide threatens me and I am
afraid of your undertow.

You see I've been in the water
before, and I am not afraid
to swim. But I have experienced
drowning.

So I will wade on your shores
until IM ready for the plunge.

And refresh myself in the
waters of your soul.


This second piece was written when I got home from the bar one night. It was three years since I had lost Perry to AIDS and that night I had gone to the bar to meet with some friends and I ran into Vito, a friend of Perry's. That night Vito had been wearing one of the outfits I had bought Perry, it seems he left them for Vito who was his size. To add to the moment I could still smell Perry when I gave Vito a hug... It was a very emotional moment.

I Saw You Today


Saw you at the bar today!
Oh I know you have been gone
a long time, what has it been
three years?

But there you were sitting on
that stool, in that bar
looking cute in those pants
you know I like.

I sat next to you this night
Three years too long, but I knew
it was you.

The man who occupied your cloths
gave me a long hug and a kiss
on my neck. You did that
I remember.

He spoke eloquently about you
and with pride about the cloths
you gave him before you died...

I guess he loved you in his
own way as did I.
I'm positive though not as much
as me.

Part of me died with you that day
three years ago. But part of you
lives today...

Fore I saw you today.
And oh you have been gone
a long time!


Perry was very special to me... a soul mate to be sure! Here is a piece written in happier times. one of the things I gained from Perry was that love is sometimes destined and that sometimes it is the smallest things about someone that are the most precious things in life.

Perry

I saw you dancing.
I saw you smile at me.
I went to your table.
I gave you my number.
You took it and smiled.
You called the next day.

You invited me to your home.
You smiled when I came to your door.
You invited me to stay.
I smiled back and followed you
up the stairs.

I engaged you in conversation.
I love to hear your voice.
I tell you jokes.
I love your laugh.

You moved closer to me.
You needed someone.
Your breath became quick.
You kissed me.
You smiled with your eyes.

You laughed with your heart.
You made love to me.
I laid quietly next to you.
I watched you breathe.
I staid for may days.

I went to work with you.
I came back everyday.
I used the key you gave me.
I loved being with you.
I loved you.

You came to my home.
You laid in my bed
We made love everyday.
We made plans for a life.

We were happy!

My final piece for tonights post was actually a personal ad that I posted in the Metro Times in Detroit (for those of you in Toronto think NOW Magazine) I wanted to be different from literally everyone else in the paper and I also wanted to push my self through the exercise of describing just what I wanted... I got several replies but sadly it may have been to much to expect of any one man;-)

Seeking

A strong black, lean and cocky, intelligent man,
un-afraid of the world or his own short comings,
sensitive enough to his needs to understand mine.

Loving and passionate with a physical perfection
not found in everyone and within my eyes no one else.

Humorous and with age witty bordering on charming
yet with out being self defacing.

Generous in all things important, his heart and mind.
Giving in all worldly matters using empathy as his
guide.

Happy about himself and his position in life, a master
of his own destiny but with the humility to know it
belongs to a higher spiritual power.


Now I say to you... is that asking to much?;-)


Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Michiee




Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Harry

Sometimes you finish a shoot and you know before you even get the pictures back from the processor that what you had shot was great. Sometimes a shoot can transform you as an artist to another level. On this afternoon in 1996, was one of those moments. There are a few of my models that I consider as muses. Harry was a friend who knew the type of images he wanted and trusted me to the extent that we could do anything we could imagine. I have shot nearly 100 rolls of film with Harry, but these are some of the most important to me. On this particular afternoon it was warm and we were in the 14th Street Train Station, that long abandon hulk of a building that became the background to so many of my early images and more recently the backfground to some big Hollywood movies like The Island and The Transformer Movie. It's varied backgrounds and relative obscurity allowed us to try anything we wanted was perfect this day as the sun began to set through the window of the grand hall.








Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.