“Well, I am an English photographer, based primarily in London and I create ever so slightly strange photos and short films involving women in palpably erotic situations. “…. so says Marc Blackie, a photographer and film maker.
Looking at some of his work, you may be mislead into thinking that he is just another pornographic merchant pushing his wares, but if we take a closer look, there is undoubtably something else that is unique there, something intangible.
There is plenty of sexuality and dark humour present in his shots. he believes that our desires and lust have been given far too high an importance, and that we spend a huge amount of time, every single day, trying to satiate these urges.
It’s almost as if, he says, after an orgasm you find yourself thinking…hmm….all of that, for this? And Mother Nature reminds us that it’s all in the name of propagation of the species…but suddenly another side to our personalities awakens and says mischievously, that in no way did this last act have anything to do with propagation of species….and carries on thinking about the next time…! He finds those thoughts amusing, and tries to show them somehow in his film and photos.
And he usually has no idea of what or how his photo shoot is going to go on any particular day. When he first started out, yes, he did have definite ideas as to what his shots would show, but nowadays, he just sets up a shoot with a few very rough ideas and props or scenarios, and starts shooting, building up, or pulling down the props as he goes along, often the whole shoot spirals off into something completely unexpected. He always keeps a notebook/journal of events at every shoot though, but again, his notes are mostly undecipherable later on…for example “close up plough soup eating misogyny”….!
He has always been taken to task about his shots that sometimes go over the thin dividing line between beauty and pornography. In his defence, Marc says that it is not a tactic that he deliberately employs to shock….rather, it’s just a reflection of his own approach to eroticism. He has never viewed the sexual act as necessarily pleasant, he says, telling of an innocent child who one day may walk into his parents’ room seeing them having sexual intercourse….that child’s first thought isn’t quite going to be “Well, they’re having a swell time…”, but more like “What the hell are they doing? Are they in pain? Are they fighting? Or is it an argument?”
So exactly the same way, with his work, he shows the inevitable lust, drive and everything else, but also a statement to say that it’s not all pretty and pleasuring…he likes to remind his observers of this by continually poking the underbelly of this “creature” with a series of sharp sticks and constant rubbing of salt into our wounds.
You also cannot fail to notice that all of his work is carried out in monochrome. The reason for this is because he says he is part of the old school in that regard, being self taught in the wonders of the photographic arts with the use of film…he got used used to printing and developing his own work, a process much simpler if using black and white….and he found a style he liked using the black and white film and printing process and it stuck. The high contrasts and rich shadows became something of a trademark for his work.
What motivation does he use and where does he get it from? Well, he says he likes being abstract…..being difficult. And it brings him a lot of pleasure when he gets emails or comments from someone who has noticed a reference point and wants to be sure they haven’t just imagined it. He also knows he’s under no illusion as to his part of his audience and is only too aware that the vast majority of those gawking at his work will be doing so as part of a thinly veiled justification to see a little soft porn!
And that’s fine, he says. “God knows that life is fucking dull and we all do what we can to make the moments a little less troublesome, so if you are looking at my work to fill up your daily breast allocation then knock yourself out, you have my blessing.”
all photos courtesy http://www.flickr.com