Friday, December 31, 2010



Art is subjective and the beauty of it is supported by a foundation of bravery on the part of its creator. The process of allowing ideas that spring forth from creative minds to become works that can be viewed by others means that the artist must open himself up to the possibility of criticism. Or worse…dislike and indifference towards the finished product.

It is easy to understand why creative people are often times insecure and sensitive. What is created is a tangible element of something internal and personal.  It has been referred to as a bearing of the soul, and appreciation is not a universal given. Just as there are many different types of artists, there are also many different types of art, as well as the many arguments over what should or should not be considered artistic.

The act of taking an idea and creating something is very common, but to allow yourself to become the art, rather than just the artist is not as prevalent. There are some noted photographers who have produced some spectacular, and even shocking self portraits, and Michael Hinkle can be included in this esteemed list. He poses nude in many of his photos, in essence revealing himself twice, as he becomes the very art he is creating.

For the first time, Michael tells his story, in his own words for the readers of BLISS about his life, his dreams and his work, while sharing a few of his creations alongside his modeling images. Welcome inside his world where art equals life.

©2010 – Sean Dibble


I have been chasing the art my entire life. As a young boy growing up in the Palm Springs area I remember being pulled out of school for day trips to Los Angeles area museums. I was obsessed with cartoons, drawing, photography, television, and magazines. My parents encouraged my creative side and supported my need to express myself by buying art supplies and letting me turn my bedroom into an artists studio littered with drawings, magazine clippings, and experimental works-in-progress. 

In my early twenties at an art opening in Los Angeles a photographer approached me, asking if I would model for him. This was the first time I was photographed in the nude and the experience was liberating. The process was not sexual, but it was erotic. We shot several times, experimenting with light and different development processes. I would pick up envelopes full of prints, multiple pages of the same image. The imagery, like the shoots, held a tinge of eroticism. I have gone on to shoot with a number of other photographers. Most notably Firooz Zahedi, who is well known for his cover shoots with Hollywood’s elite and Jay Jorgensen, whom I believe is a rising star in the world of photography and male nudes.

The result of the photo shoots sparked an idea of using the images to create self-portrait paintings. Most of these early paintings were experimental, but from my first piece to the latest work, they are all connected. Words like love, and symbols such as my birth year (1969 and 69), tally marks, and my initials are reoccurring graffiti-like elements in all of the paintings. The paintings are moments in time and they are autobiographical expressions. 

At 41 years old I am in the best shape of my life and confident in my work. I am having a blast collaborating with photographers like Firooz, Jay Jorgensen, and Alonzo Gault, among others. I am interested in exploring the dynamics of censorship and eroticism with the photographers and artists I collaborate with.

The process of creating new imagery and making a new painting is unpredictable. I have to approach the ideas with the understanding that I need to be open to allowing the unknown to guide me. I feel lucky when a new work is completed because so many things need to fall into place for it to be right and balanced.


My art and the photo-shoots reveal everything about me and I am putting it all on display for the world to see. If you look, you will judge, but that is part of the subjective nature of art. New photo-shoots and new paintings bring opportunities for me to express my point of view. They allow me explore the creative side of being human and an artist. As a model and artist my art attempts to spin artifacts of memory, censorship, and eroticism into impressions of dynamic beautiful obfuscation. Inspiration for my paintings is derived from the human body, photography, color, lines, rhythm, nature, and the world around me. The paintings are multilayered and complicated, just like us. I want my work, whether in front of the camera or in my studio, to be provocative and edgy. I am trying to push the boundaries and create something new and interesting.
©2010 - Michael Hinkle

To Contact Michael Hinkle or to purchase his art:

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Wishing each of you all the best that the season has to offer.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


One of the biggest issues that men deal with on a personal level is the question of size. And in many cases, the verdict is obvious: size matters. It matters to them as individuals, it matters to the people they are attracted to and it matters in the modeling industry.

When it comes to height (what did you think I was referring to?), the perception is that most models are tall, and in some areas this is prerequisite, such as runway, but in other avenues such as print, commercial, physique, fine art or erotic, males are often on the shorter side of the measuring tape. And what they lack in stature can easily be made up for in sex appeal and beautiful features.

We have all heard the expression of desire towards a tall, dark and handsome specimen of manhood but the reality is that the average height of the American male is 5’10”. Globally the figure falls between 5’7” to 5’8” so it would seem that guys of smaller stature are in the majority.

There is something undeniably sexy about smaller men, be it the cuddly approachability of the average built ones or the impressive bulk of those on the muscular side. I have always been drawn to those of average height, possibly because I fit into that category, but also because there is a neat and compact quality to their beauty. And it would seem as if height has no bearing on attributes in the lower region. Many of the well hung gay porn stars are actually on the short side, and this lack of height makes certain things look even more impressive.

And speaking of nudity, Cuban born Ralfy Lords is certainly no stranger to it and displays his body with full confidence. He combines all of the qualities that make smaller guys so appealing with his beautiful small, sexy smirk and nicely proportioned physique. He is still rather new to the modeling field but has already worked with some impressive photographers. And the offers from others keep coming, including from me. It’s holiday time, and Ralfy is the perfect gift to find under your tree.

©2010 Sean Dibble


BLISS: You were born in Cuba but raised in Miami. When did you first come to the United States?
RALFY LORDS: Yes, I came to the United States when I was 9 years old.

B: Did you speak English before you came or learn the language here?
RL: No, I didn’t know anything. I learned here with the help of my teachers and some friends, and a lot of TV lol.

B: I have quite a few Latino friends here in the DC area, and many have told me that there’s a definite advantage to living in a city with a high Latino population. It made the transition much easier for them. Miami also has a large number of Spanish speaking residents. Is this an advantage for you as well?
RL: To tell you the truth since I was raised here most of my life it doesn’t make any differences for me. I get along the same way if you’re Latino or other race. And I think is much better to be surrounded by people from here better because you learn faster everything.

B: I asked about your heritage because I don’t believe Latinos, like other minorities, are as visible within the industry as they should be, especially when you consider the growing market. I may have to excuse the market in Miami, but in general do you feel as if there is enough representation within modeling?
RL: Well I think we do represent a lot of high fashion modeling companies... now more than ever. I’ve seen a lot of Hispanic models in the front of magazines. I think its all equal.

B: You joined Model Mayhem on August 31, 2010, so you’re relatively new to the industry. Did you always want to be a model?
RL: Yeah I am... Since I was 15 I used to take pictures in my pool or room and always posing lol.

B: On your profile you write “I know I’m really short and I can’t really be a model”. How tall are you exactly?
RL: I’m 5’1”. My dream is to be a runway model I love to do runway. But I know the qualifications and all that... but I’m ok for now doing print and commercial.

B: Obviously, runway work is out, but there are so many other avenues for models to take, such as print work or commercials. What type of modeling do you want to do?
RL: I’m looking forward to try everything, I love the attention, and to be representing something.

B: Do you remember what your first shoot was like?
RL: Yes I do... It was in the back of a building and I was so nervous I didn’t know what to do... but then after 30 minutes I got comfortable and I got a nice shoot.

B: You’ve shot with a few photographers already. What was the most difficult or challenging photo shoot you involved in and what made it so?
RL: I think my first nude shoot. I just couldn’t get hard and didn’t know what to do lol... but did a great job.

B: What did you learn from that experience?
RL: Just to feel comfortable with your body and yourself, and very confident.
B: What was the best photo shoot you were involved in and what lessons did you get from it?
RL: I think it was the last one I had with GR Pro Photos. We just had an amazing chemistry and the pictures came out amazing. I was rocking that shoot.

B: I noticed, from your port, that you don’t shy away from nude images. Do you enjoy posing nude?
RL: Yes now that I have experience doing nudes I love it. It’s a nice sensual feeling.

B: Making a decision to pose nude comes easily to some models, while others struggle with the decision, or just flat out refuse. When did you decide that you were willing to pose nude and what prompted that decision?
RL: I was thinking about it for couple days, and then I thought about it and I was like I would like to have nude pics of me so when I get old I can see them and remember how hot I am lol

B: To add to your boldness, you even posed with an erection. Are you interested in erotic images?
RL: Yes, I've been thinking about it. But not sure yet.

B: Do you think there is a double standard when it comes to men posing nude compared to females? If so, why?
RL: To be honest I think we are on the same levels.

B: You have a beautiful, natural physique, which I love, and despite the height issue, you are very well proportioned. Do you work out to maintain your natural musculature?
RL: I dance for clubs here in Miami sometimes. So I think that’s what helps me a lot. Because I hate working out lol

B: Can you name a few of the photographers that you would love to work with and what it is about their images that capture your attention?
RL: Yes I would love to work with Jorge Freire and Joel*, they are so creative and clean with the pictures I love it.
(* Joel Edemano, who he has now worked with.)

B: What about concepts…what type of image have you always wanted to try?
RL: I’m dying to do some dirty looks. I'm tired of the good boy look lol

B: In terms of height, I actually like the appeal of models that are not as tall. Do you believe that there are any advantages to it in terms of posing?
RL: I’m not sure about it. I think it depends on the person.

B: What impact would you like to have within the industry and how do you think you can achieve this?
RL: I would like to make a change in the model industry so more people like me push themselves to archive their goals.

©2010 - Sean Dibble

Want more Ralfy?

Joel Endemano
GR Pro Photo
Ultra exposed LLC

David Costa