Eddy Barrena is a man that people love looking at. He’s handsome, has a gorgeous physique and knows how to use his face and body when working with some of the top photographers to produce some incredibly beautiful and sexy images. His physical appeal is so strong that it is easy to think about the fact that beyond the visual is a man with a variety of talents, a mind full of opinions and a heart that is as big as his muscles.
Mr. Barrena has taken some time away from posing for the camera to holding it and reigniting his passion for photography and film work. He has filmed and edited video for super star photographer, Thomas Synnamon, he did the cover art for Judah Gavra’s single “We’re Beautiful”, and he’s been all over New York City snapping editorial style images that showcase not only his eye for beautiful models, but for locations as well. In the midst of this whirlwind, he took some time out of his schedule to share a few of his photos and answer some questions about art, Facebook status messages and love in the gay community. And just like the pictures he takes, the answers might surprise people who have a preconceived notion of just who Eddy Barrena is.
BLISS: Everyone is familiar with your work as a model, including being one of the most popular cover boys here at BLISS, but not many people are aware that you are a photographer as well. When did you first start shooting?
EDDY BARRENA: Well, I graduated from film school back in 2005, got involved in fashion.. so photography came as part of those experiences. I decided to use the info I got from college and my modeling experience into my career in media
B: Do you feel that being a model makes it easier for you to direct the models that you shoot?
EB: Definitely! It has helped me to understand body movement and angle much better.
B: Your fans are used to the sexualized images of your modeling photos and music videos, but your style of photography seems to differ from that. How would you describe your work behind the lens?
EB: My visual take in my work is a more realistic version of me. Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with being sexual and explicit but my passion for art comes from fashion and music and I wanna translate that into images.
B: I love that you do so many of your shots on location. Do you shoot in studio as well? Do you have a preference for one over the other?
EB: I do studio shoots, but I prefer locations. They infuse a new life to the stories behind each shot.
B: Have you ever done any self-portraits? If so, will we ever get to see them?
EB: NO! LOL. I’m fine behind the camera for now.
B: Your skills behind the camera include another possibly unknown fact: you do video work as well, including editing. I saw part of one that you did for Thomas Synnamon. What is it about video that attracts you as an artist?
EB: Well, my first love for music came from music videos and musicals like Grease, then it became a passion, the reason why I went to college for filmmaking.
B: Are your photography, film and editing self-taught skills or did you take courses to learn your craft?
EB: Both. I taught myself while growing up but as I mentioned before, I graduated from film school.
B: Have you ever considered utilizing these combined talents and perhaps directing in the future?
EB: That’s the plan. LOL
B: Many artists use the creative platform to express their own opinions, thoughts or frustrations. Do you ever make statements with your art?
EB: I always try to make a statement. Art was the way that people told their stories from the very beginning. Look at the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. We have a better understanding of their culture because of their timeless art expressions.
B: You don’t shy away from expressing opinions in your personal life either (as evidenced on your Facebook page). Do you think people are easily offended or just not always understanding when you try to make certain points?
EB: If they are offended, that’s not my problem, its theirs...
B: You are famously critical of how the gay lifestyle is constantly depicted as one big party with very little attention devoted to a monogamous union outside of the fight for gay marriage. Do you think we are brainwashed into thinking that this is what we should desire and expect?
EB: I think its part of compensating for what we didn’t have in the past, but since gay marriage and gay culture is becoming part of society and a brighter light, I feel things will change. But I still hate those extremely unnecessary celebrations of dead brain cells... I’m sure a lot of people are gonna get offended with that last statement.
B: There are many gay men who argue and fight for the right to marry yet choose to be involved in open relationships. Do you feel this is hypocritical or a simple choice?
EB: That’s their choice. I like to think about relationship as 2 people who love and respect each other. Open relationships, in my eyes, don’t represent that.
B: Do you think it is possible for gay men to truly be monogamous or is the community itself too hyper sexed?
EB: Yes we can be monogamous. From my own personal experience, when I’m in a relationship, I devote myself to that special guy. When I’m single, I play like a single man.
B: What role do you think the art we enjoy, including some of the beautiful pictures you take as well as the ones you’ve modeled in, plays in perpetuating the idea that it’s all about face, physique and sexiness?
EB: i think it’s more about being confident with what you have. And beauty is subjective, including in the art department. What is sexy to me might not be sexy for others.
B: If you could address these thoughts in your own work, how would you convey the message that you believe in and desire in terms of love vs. sex?
EB: Well, if you check my work, its more about telling a story, about thinking outside the box more than just naked bodies. Not saying I won’t shoot that, lol, but I wanna grow into the fashion pop culture photography movement..
B: What will the rest of 2013 look like for Eddy Barrena? Will we see more of you as a model, a musician, a videographer or a photographer?
EB: Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.
B: You have a large and loyal fan base. What words would you like to leave them with?
EB: To be themselves, to follow their passion and to not give a f**k.... love what you do cuz at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
©2013 – Sean Dibble
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