Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Great Porn Debate Part 2: It's not porn if it is in black and white, but is it still art?

Leila Swan and Hana - 013113 - SB

My wife once looked at some of the nude digital images I was uploading to my computer that were still in color.  She said, "It feels more porny in color."  Does black and white, and even better yet, a nice bokeh (not a sexual term) stop it from being porn or even help it to become art?  What about adding grain?  What if I shot it on film and made prints in my own darkroom?  I could also put a vignette, and sepia tone to it, or even make it a cyanotype.  Is it art yet?  What do you think?

Leila Swan and Hana - 013113 - SB


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Great Porn Debate Part 1 : Smut vs Art in America

Buckle up, dear readers ... this ride could get a lil bumpy!   We're venturing into some convoluted shadows full of social, religious, and political landmines ... territory where the Supreme Court has flailed and artists have sacrificed themselves on the altar of creative freedom of speech & expression.  

Before I share my not-so-humble opinions on the topic, I'm very curious to hear you all chime in on where the line lies between pornography and art.   The Supreme Court has established the  "Miller Test" for obscenity which includes the following criteria :   

     (1) whether ‘the average person, applying contemporary community standards’ would find  
           that the work, ‘taken as a whole,’ appeals to ‘prurient interest’ 
    (2) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct 
          specifically defined by the applicable state law, and 
    (3) whether the work, ‘taken as a whole,’ lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or  
          scientific value.   {Source:  Cornell University Law School}

Lip Service - 012913 - Miz B

Given these ideas, what's your take on the image above?   Art or Porn?  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Who Does That?! Miz B Does!

I've occasionally been accused of being mysterious and hard to read.   Ironic, given that I bare so much of myself through my art - on both sides of the camera!   Here's my go at the Proust Questionnaire ... most likely as revealing as a matchstrike in an abyss, but perhaps interesting nonetheless!

I Want It All - 012713 - Miz B

1. What is your favorite word?  Yes.
2. What is your least favorite word? No.
3. What turns you on?  Passion in all its forms & the unexpected.  Oh, and abs!
4. What turns you off? Boredom & dishonesty.
5. What sound or noise do you love?  Gasps of delighted surprise, French accents, and laughter!
6. What sound or noise do you hate?  Crying & police sirens.
7. What is your favorite curse word?  Fuck.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?  Tell-all author - but not until I'm 90! {Can you feel the panic that one just set off around the world?!}
9. What profession would you not like to do?  Anything where someone else is the boss of me!
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?  "I'm proud of you - the world is a better place because you were there!"
11. What is your idea of perfect happiness?  Licking rum cream off an oiled island boy on a sunny beach!  And being a dream maker.
12. What is your greatest fear? That I'll run out of time and die before I get to try everything fun!
13. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Cleopatra.
14. Which living person do you most admire? Michelle Obama.
15. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  Laziness.
16. What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Judgement/close-minded.
17. What is your greatest extravagance? Surrounding myself with daring beautiful sexy people!
18. On what occasion do you lie?  When I'm trying not to hurt someone's feelings  I bend the truth to the gentle side.
19. What do you dislike most about your appearance?  Depends on the day ... mostly I'm good though :-)
20. When and where were you happiest?  Every single time I connect with another interesting, passionate person! I'm a total junkie for that electric sizzle!
21. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?  I'd be more patient or more ambitious - not sure which!
22. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?  That we'd have more hours in the day!
23. What do you consider your greatest achievement?  My awesome sons.
24. If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?  Me again - but already knowing what I've learned this time around!
25. What is your most treasured possession?  My integrity.
26. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?  Forgetting who you are and giving up on your dreams.  Settling.
27. Who are your heroes in real life?  Anyone who lives their passions and ignores all those naysayers!
28. How would you like to die?  Ancient, scandalous, and satisfied!
29. What is your motto?  Try everything twice, in case the person you did it with the first time didn't know what they were doing!

Training Day - 012713 - Miz B

I've known Miz B longer than most.  I knew her when she was a high school student.  Even then, I quickly discovered she was no little girl.  She was what she is today, a woman of sultry, drive, passion, humor, intellect and always a curious, seductive mystery.  Few of her answers above were surprises, but they all enlightened me and show just a tiny bit of how complex Miz B is. - SB  

As with my questionnaire, we encourage you to complete  some or all of these questions and share them with us either in the comments or maybe as a featured post. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fetish: Fantasy & Fashion

Coffee Tea or Me - 012513 - Miz B

Of all the fabulous ways to be a freak (in the yummiest sense of the word!), none are more visually appealing than fetish.   From the gleam of glistening latex to the glitter of cold chrome, fetish has a style that is unmistakably erotic and forbidden.   

Kerri - 012513 - Miz B
Perhaps the most exotic element of fetish is the contrasts it provides ... an all-you-can-eat buffet for the camera and the wicked eyes of the voyeur.  Smooth silky skin is caressed by rough leather straps.  Delicate rosy nipples are twisted by barbaric steel-toothed clamps.  Soft elegant curves are bound to rough-hewn racks of wood and unforgiving chain.   If you gaze long enough, you can almost hear the moans and smell the desire in the air.

Fetish fashion has stepped out of the shadows recently in an enormous way ... just the boots on Anne Hathaway's  Cat Woman costume are enough to raise my pulse & make me purr!  No longer confined to the BDSM culture, fetish style has gone mainstream thanks to models like the fabulous Ophelia Overdose .   

Signs - 012513 - Miz B - Image courtesy of KRT Pics

Shine - 012513- Miz B

What's your favorite thing about  fetish fashion?   

Picking up from that, I want to add what I enjoy about fetish and fashion.  For me, it isn't just the  living-in-the-moment sensation, it is also how the tight latex, the ropes, collars, and other elements create the strong graphic elements.  The way the black corset and whip traces a line that accentuates the model's natural curves.  It makes those visual elements rise to a visual art of its own. 

Rain - 012513 - SB

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ready for your closeup, Side B?

Rain - 012313 - Side B
Every work of art is a chance to peer into the mind of the artist ... but sometimes, it's fun to go snooping through their mental closet more directly and see what lurks in the shadows behind the creations!  We've decided it would be fun for each of us to answer a few questions based off the famous Proust Questionnaire ... today's answers are from the enigmatic Side B!

1. What is your favorite word? Sensual
2. What is your least favorite word? Hopeless
3. What turns you on? Sharing all five senses with someone.  (I've heard a debate that a sixth sense is a sense of time.  I would add that to the other five listed above as well.)
4. What turns you off? Arrogance - nobody is that good.  
5. What sound or noise do you love? A romantic moan or the wind rushing through trees.  They are both equal.  It's interesting how both involve the movement of air in special ways.
6. What sound or noise do you hate? Mosquito buzzing by my ear while trying to sleep in a tent.  
7. What is your favorite curse word? Ah fuck me...
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Art Teacher
9. What profession would you not like to do? Crime scene clean up.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "Surprised?"
11. What is your idea of perfect happiness? A simple trip (almost anywhere) with a sensual beauty who loves being on both sides of a camera.  
12. What is your greatest fear? Not doing what I need to do in this life.
13. Which historical figure do you most identify with?  Meriwether Lewis.
14. Which living person do you most admire? Virgin empire founder, Richard Branson. He has grabbed life by the balls and is living a rich life that is pretty damn responsible as well.
15. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  Not finishing everything I start.
16. What is the trait you most deplore in others? People who only see complex issues in black and white or right and wrong.
17. What is your greatest extravagance? Photographing amazing people. It is purely selfish of me.
18. On what occasion do you lie?  When it would spare someone's feelings or when the lie will not hurt anyone and is more expedient than dealing with the truth.
19. What do you dislike most about your appearance? I am not fixated on it too much, maybe a little less weight, a little more hair... actually I would like a better wardrobe.
20. When and where were you happiest? Watching the aurora borealis outside of my Montana home when I was a kid. They usually appeared early on the coldest mornings. My mom would wake everyone up to go see them. The silence of them dancing in the northern sky with their green shimmers still gives me peace.
21. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? I'd be a bit more determined on the harder things.
22. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? Instilling the desire to go for it and to appreciate that desire in others.
23. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Haven't created it yet and don't give a damn if I do. Once you have created that, what else is there to do with life?
24. If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be? As either a woman or a tree in a park. Both would give me enlightenment on what life means.
25. What is your most treasured possession? My senses.
26. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Hopelessness induced by other humans.
27. Who are your heroes in real life? Miz B and all others that live out loud, even in quiet ways.
28. How would you like to die? Without knowing it happened.
29. What is your motto? In 100 years there will be all new people.  Fuck legacy.

My current theme song:

If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together for one night
I know they'd never match
My sweet imagination
And everything looks worse in black and white
I got a Nikon camera I love to take a photograph
So Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

I've answered this questionnaire as well ... we will post my answers later this week!  There are definitely a few "Things that make you go hmmmmm" on here - give it a shot and share your most unexpected answers with us! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Musings on MLK, Jr Day

Having spent this morning watching the Presidential Inauguration and enjoying my annual discussion of the "I Have a  Dream" speech with my children, I've been contemplating the shadows in a different light.   

Anyone who has followed my work knows my penchant for incorporating stereotypes and traditional roles, exposing them through the lens, and hopefully standing them on their heads.   Gender, race, religion, age, sexual preference ... if it's a method of social division, it's in the crosshairs of my viewfinder!  

The beautiful truth of living and working in these times is that I can explore these themes!  Yes, there is still bigotry, and bias, and all manner of opposition to progress.  But in the course of my brief journey on this earth, I've seen much change as well.   

Much of my work is interracial - occasionally by design, but more often no more pertinent to the shot than my choice of gold or silver earrings.  A fabulous model is a fabulous model, whether they are purple or 90 or trisexual!  Early in my career, this diversity in my work created controversy and misconceptions galore.   Nowadays, I'm far more likely to get feedback on the mood and composition of an image than about what color the models happen to be.   When the point of  a piece is to challenge our paradigms, I'm more likely to hear thoughtful discussion than endure a hateful rant.   

Love is Blue - 012113 - Miz B - Image courtesy of Zakka

I believe our art reflects our world, but I also believe that it helps to create it.   What we see, we ponder.   What we hear, we absorb.  What we contemplate, we grow to understand.   Where we see beauty, we cultivate acceptance.  So I challenge all of us to peer into the shadows of our prejudices and fears ... to expose them to the light of our creativity ... and to bring the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others to life!

I watched the inauguration as well and felt the swell of  pride in this country.  I agree with Washington's quote (which I paraphrase crudely) that the greatness isn't electing the first president, but the second one.  America has many great faults, challenges and strengths.   The overall peaceful changes in power is one of the good ones.

As for the late Martin Luther King, Jr., I admire him and his legacy and continue to learn from them.  Many of his great words still ring true today and need to be remembered and lived.  Below is my current favorite.  

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Both of these plague our nation and world.  Too many of us (yes, us, me too) choose to be ignorant about things in favor of lives of ease and avoidance of reality.  Our neighbors are multi-racial, multi-sexual, and multi-faith.  Some are conservative, others progressive, and many somewhere in between or not on the spectrum.  I hope we can soon realize these differences make us better than single-way thoughts and beliefs that afflict us now.  By stepping out of our comfort zone and learning about things larger than the individual, we begin to make ourselves better than the individuals we are.   We need to realize this soon because there are larger issues and larger achievements where such petty things do not matter.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Something Wicked This Way Cums

One of our favorite things in the world is the magical synergy that happens when artists from different media resonate with each other ... when we are muses for each other and inspire each other to explore new ideas!   Enjoy this steamy pairing of photography and poetry ... many thanks to the talented team of R. Yearby and Kellz !

Something Wicked This Way Cums - 011913 - Miz B

We began skinny dipping in pools of sensual ink
Streaming under covers, over pillows, wrapped in your arms
Alarms echo from the deepest salacial spaces
Sounding off aphrodisiac rings
In the contiguous distance fore-warn-ing....Something wicked this way cums

Hurried bumps and slow thrust
Delicious grinds, back raked with nail lines
Lines drawn in the sand
To the victor, the spoils of squirted ecstasy
Against face mixed with lustful taste...Something wicked this way cums

Trapezing through perplexing positions
Sweat glides down spines
Like warm, salty raindrops drenching
Lascivious minds, kissing divine rods
Lips lock, elbows drop
Hips rise to meet kismet
Is this what they call heaven...or does...Something wicked this way cum

Freefalling through the heat of skin
Like 7 layers of Dante's sin
I can't wait to begin
To navigate through the maze
Of tussled limbs, tossed sheets, neck bites,
Tongue lashes on the slit of your pink sash there is
More to cum in the wickedness of thrust
To divine gushes of labia's gin
To wicked grins. Something wicked this way comes...

As indelible intentions are restrained
and ass spanks redden in vain
and tantalizing thrusts, move to the tantric beat of
Chimes adorned on intimate intimate spaces...pushing for wider spaces
Making a special place for
Your secret desires to play in
Locked in my playground where we swing in leathered dreams
and sing to the melody of...Something wicked this way cums

Dominating displays of safe words and foreplay
Bondage in subservient ways... means today, we trade places
As long as you let me partake in champagne showers while licking the pink petals away
2, 3 fingers deep while juice seeps
Like fresh peaches while teeth bite on the pit of your center. Chorus of please... throes of Ohh
That echoes from the valley of your navel while hoping soon your
Belly shows sign of...Something wicked this way cums

"Master, my Master take me as you please", I scream
As I get down on bended knee and give praise to the consummate King
Run my tongue down your seam
Lick your crown suck your jewels
Massage your land with the softest of hands
Up and down and back again
Till you choke the last breath of air from me
Sweet warm saliva drips down on thee
See foreplay is the foreground
And unless we stop now
We can be guaranteed....Something wicked this way cums

~Kellz/Yearby 2012~

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Excuse me.... and you are?

Side B (SB) - 011613

Miz B (MB) - 011613

Well, aren't we just the mysterious ones?!   In launching this blog, we were so excited about what to show, what to say, and who to meet ... well, we rudely forgot to introduce ourselves!  So, in abbreviated form, here is the improbable tale of Miz B and Side B:

She and he grew up in the same Montana town and were close friends in high school.  {That this friendship was cemented through long hours of trying to find inappropriate dead language double entendres in Latin class is, I believe, informative!} After graduating, they went to their separate colleges and lost touch for many years.  A few years ago they reconnected through a mutual Facebook friend.  After many, many tentative private messages, they both discovered a shared passion for creating erotic art.  From these online chats, this blog was born to share both of their views on all things erotic, creative and what makes things so damn sexy.

Being a huge fan of irony, I think the unlikelihood of two small town friends evolving in quite different ways, yet rendezvousing in the shadows is simply, divinely luscious!   While I shed 99.9% of my "roots" gleefully and never looked back, I consider it a miracle to rediscover a kindred spirit with whom I can explore the twists and turns of this project!

More on us later, but we now return to our regularly scheduled sexiness! 

Hana and Leila - 011613 - SB

Monday, January 14, 2013

Passion Plays

Unhinged - 011413 - Miz B

In art, in bed, in life - predictability is the kiss of death! True greatness comes from daring, experimentation, and PASSION!! Often, photographers, models, and lovers are so caught up in chasing perfect technique and external ideals that they forget to let go, get out of their heads, and into their passions. Sometimes all the perfect formulas are boring, and all the unplanned moments of pure, raw feeling are perfect!

I'm a huge fan of setting a scene with wardrobe, location, casting, and attitude & then letting natural energies explode as they will. Obviously, this requires a serious level of trust and mutual admiration/attraction among the players on set! I consider it a compliment of the highest order when people view my erotic work and ask me to confess that, indeed, we actually did have an orgy during the shoot ... if you can't tell when we did and when we didn't, then my work here is done! {insert evil chuckle and taunting wink here lol} 

Passion is why I do this. It is why it makes all the work worth it to the point where it is not work, but a need to create. The passion is in all aspects and without it I wouldn't finish my art. The passion takes me through the inception of concept, finding the right muses, and capturing the magic in the camera, through all the post processing and publishing it. Passion must be shared by all that participate. The passion is why I still shoot half the time in film. Passion is finding my own unique take on it and exploring beyond where it was comfortable or easy. If it was easy, it wouldn't take passion and everyone would do it.

What is your passion? What does it drive you to do, to create, to accomplish? Don't be shy. We sure aren't!

Original grain, original grit. - 011413 - Side B

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Welcome to shadowsexposed!

Fae - 011213 - Side B

Shadows, by definition, are areas shrouded from light - but created by that same light. In shadows there are form and fantasy, secrets and sins, truths and teases. Welcome to where we celebrate the shadows in art, in the mind, and in life. Join us on an artistic adventure as we explore the darker side of photography and expose the not-always-pretty but eternally mesmerizing shadows of the human experience.
Miz B - Model, art director, & ring-leader of a band of merry mischievous minions. Her out-loud voice would get her in trouble if she slowed down long enough to get caught … fortunately she's a force of nature zooming through the universe at the speed of B, fueled by her passion for beauty, self-expression, and creativity. Her calling in all her endeavors is to unlock the primal in those around her, giving them permission and means to surrender to the shadows & revel in their passions.
Side B (SB) – Photographer, multimedia artist, and recently accused pornographer. Remember when albums and cassettes had a Side B? It was the music you did not hear because the popular songs were on the side A. The side B songs were usually darker and rarely appreciated for their unique composition and stories the musician was creating and sharing. We all have a side "b". For SB it is the dark side. It is not an evil side, just not as naive or innocent as he is most of the time. This side has lots to offer to art, yet would not go well with his Side "A" life and art.
"Here there be nipples" OR "Oh, no - another sex blog!" Are we the only ones jaded to the eternal use of sex and shock to sell, entice, amuse, and otherwise titillate the internet? Especially in America, we seem to have lost sight of the forest for the trees (phallic reference most intentional)! In part, this blog is a seeking … a yearning for the lost arts of seduction and meaning in a culture of instant superficial gratification. Yes, there will be erotica here. Some will be subtle, some will be raw, some will be comfortable, and some will not. All will be an exposure of the shadows that inspire our art and our passions … shadows that you may recognize and share.
You, our beloved readers and viewers (voyeurs?), are the vital third partner in our creative ménage à trois. We desire, need and encourage your thoughts, reactions, and comments on what we share. Don’t worry; we don’t bite (unless either you enjoy it or bite first.)
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. from Sonnet XVII ~Pablo Neruda
Something Wicked This Way Comes - 011213 - Miz B