Thursday, August 30, 2012


Kevin Slack is a photographer who creates fantasy.  His images are filled with rich texture and innate sensuality.  His use of light and the tonal quality of his images make them instant classics while incorporating the perfect hint of originality to keep them fresh and exciting.  He also has an eye for beauty and his models consistently excite and captivate fans of Kevin’s superb work.

This new series of images are from an editorial called Enrique for Ransom and features Enrique alongside twin brothers Marlon and Andro, whom Kevin collectively refers to as “Los Tres”.  It was the perfect cover choice for this issue of BLISS as well as an opportunity to try something different. Rather than opt for a typical interview, I asked Kevin to tell the story behind the images so that it could unfold in his own words. It is a tale of an immensely talented photographer, three beautiful boys and a backdrop in Havana.

Enrique can also be seen in the Men of Cuba 2013 Wall Calendar.

©2012 Sean Dibble


Enrique for Ransom is a departure for me.  The boys - brothers Marlon and Andro, and Enrique - are a little frisky and tell me they want to do something a little different.  So one night, over beer and pizza, we decide the twins are going to play mercenaries who kidnap Enrique.

I need a shack.  A friend of a friend helps me find one. It's in a surprising and curious dilapidated farming village wrapped inside the otherwise urban Havana. We had to turn off a road I knew well onto train tracks to get to the shack.  The tracks were littered with skeletons of chickens and a handful of goat skulls, remnants of the santeria who practice by water and by tracks. On either side of the tracks were what amounted to humble farming plots.  At last, the shack. Perfectly suitable and I book it for our shoot.   

But when we return a few days later with the models and the props and the camera gear, the lady of the house cancels. This sort of thing happens a lot. Best intentions often go astray. But I would not be set off my course. We knocked on the doors of the neighbors and found, at last, a workable house.  It was smaller and darker.  We had to displace about eight persons to use what served as their living room.  We moved out a refrigerator and moved in that wooden chair.  I unpacked the red phone I borrowed from my rental house. 

And to my task. With Los Tres, I'm almost never startled by their brazen sensuality and playfulness, by their tranquil immodesty.  But this time they had so much fun, it almost distracted me from my work and that nearly never happens. I still cannot tell who was having more fun: the twins who were abusing Enrique, or the much-handled Enrique. Although Enrique kept his character perhaps a little better. Still I was pleased with their commitment and acting, if not their rope-tying abilities.

I cannot say if put-upon Enrique was ever liberated. The narrative devolved when the models outstripped the characters and wanted to play and pose and out-goof and out-man each other. Perhaps Enrique is still sitting in that shack waiting for his hero to save him.

©2012 Kevin Slack


Want more Kevin?


Old Reliable became a legend for photographing real men in real environments doing really provocative things, but much of the appeal was that these were the guys you could see every day on the streets or in the back alleys in many cases.

We are a culture that thrives on beauty in a multitude of forms and admittedly much of that is manufactured. Plastic surgery can give people what genetics did not supply and Photoshop can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.  With so much emphasis on the pursuit of perfection is there still room for reality in the world of art?

Rob Ordonez is well known in certain NYC circles, both as a person and part time model. He has posed for a number of photographers including Kevin D. Hoover and myself and always brings a hint of the surreal to his images. He has now stepped behind the camera to bring life to his own idea of beauty with a series of photographs that showcase the types of men that we see daily.  There is a sense of honesty in the wonderful portraits he creates and his models seem to revel in the fact that they are allowed to just enjoy being themselves for the camera. It is the beginning of what is sure to be an ever increasing portfolio by a budding talent on either side of the camera.

You can follow Rob on Facebook and see more of his work both as a photographer and a model.

©2012 – Sean Dibble

David Costa