Wednesday, 14 April 2010

M/M Flesh and Blood – The photography of Sam Scott Schiavo





















Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.


This excluisve interview with photographer Sam Scott Schiavo was conducted by Nicola Linza April 2010 in Vienna.


Flesh and Blood – The photography of Sam Scott Schiavo

The great Luchino Visconti created a tension and sensuality that is at once sexual, and at the same time raw, brutal and unresolved in his 1960 film Rocco e i suoi fratelli. This duality and complexity is exemplified by the star Rocco played by Alain Delon. What this film shows is that in life there are many sides to a story. These aspects especially pertain to male experiences of desire as well as growth, expansion, fight, flight, ruination and disintegration, and yes rebirth. These many aspects lead to seeing, and in such visionary moments, we often examine ourselves.

Visconti’s oeuvre is an example of a body of work that seeks perfection, as a highly controlled device in a continual search for a new realism, which is at once fresh yet leads to a déjà vu recognisability. In photography the imagery creates a psychological moment, it tells a story of a situation one that is often highly suggestive and often amplifies the realities of the mind of the viewer. The hidden aspects of sexuality and the often-masked complexities of the psyche become relevant.

A prime example of how photography handles these complexities of expansion, disintegration and exposure to me is displayed in the work of my friend fashion photographer Sam Scott Schiavo. His portfolio is refined, controlled and sensual …completely free from constraint while handling beauty and brutality in its handling of the moment …its true flesh and blood.

In the essence of Visconti’s masterpiece Rocco e i suoi fratelli, its primary focus on men and the male condition and masculine psyche, for Manner of Man I met up with Schiavo in Vienna. I wanted to open up an abstract dialogue and voyeuristically view the mind behind his lens, and while putting this piece together I could not get the picture of Rocco (Alain Delon) out of my mind, because his intensity and emotion in the film is the flesh and blood that remains with one ...long after the film is over.


Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

1.What is the ultimate visual essence sought when photographing a man?

Ideally capturing in a fragment of a second, in a frame, the essence of the man, real, true, his soul exposed, his beauty both outwardly and within, his flesh and blood, a stolen moment ... which in turn gives the viewer an emotion ...


Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

2. What is it about black and white photography that creates intensity and sexuality?

Color is distracting, detracts from the core, too many colors and so many saturations. There is nothing like black and white in analog, there have been advances in digital but ... I still find good black and white photography and cinema mystifying, the play of light, the strength in the tones all create depth and emotion, just look at the sweat and blood on Delon's Rocco character during his ferocious bouts with his brother and in the ring, the light reflecting in his eyes, in black and white the imagery is so intense, and again, the viewer feels the tension and also the maleness, the carnality, the crude sexuality. These same scenes in color would not be as intense if not for some ridiculous added Hollywood effects. Black and white photography is pure, basic and raw as our own sexuality should be.


Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

3.Where is the line between the sensual and brutal in still photography?

Sensual is just that ...using all our senses, our imagination, using man's largest organ, the brain. It becomes brutal when it becomes false; today's false imagery created by over zealous Photoshop causes a twisted imagery of self worth and ideals, damaging brutally ourselves and especially the young with false improbable images.



Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

4. When are you satisfied with an image?

When I am doing a one on one portrait, I feel it in my gut that my subject has let go and has shown his inner self but more than that, if the image continually returns in my thoughts or to the viewers I have accomplished my goal. A recent example, I showed a preview of two images from my forthcoming book to a English journalist, a few days later he contacted me stating how he could not get one of the images out of his mind... This is exactly what I wish my photography to achieve and this is my ultimate satisfaction for an image!


Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

5. Why do men often find the need to hide behind a façade, whatever form that façade takes?

Men are conditioned to the ideals of `power/potere', a male child plays as a general, not a meager private. Men had past Hollywood images as The Duke, Eastwood, and Bronson, no one purposely wanted to be that skinny weakling that gets sand kicked in his face and Charles Atlas had to help! The 'Power' equation ... success, sex, money and influence and is an international malady.

Thus men are willing to hide behind a facade to attain at any cost or internal suffering, maybe this past generation, with some new role models, a few things are changing. Mediterranean men may be more 'emotional' but the 'facade' is still strong.


Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

sam scott schiavo
http://www.samscottschiavo.com/

All images shown are copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo and may not be reproduced without his specific written consent. All rights reserved.