Ahoy, sailor!

As I mentioned in the past, Cleo and I managed to squeeze an incredible amount of looks in just one helluva workday, right before she went on a globe-hopping, ass-shimmying tour from place to place.

I posted the circus portraits, these on the other hand are more straightforward shots geared for flyers and promotional material, taken with her sailor outfit.

Model: Cleo Viper
Make up: Anita Alberti
Outfit: Sara Skull

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And to close things up, a little black and white portrait.

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Mystical Fullmoon promo shoot

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During the past year or so I had the pleasure to work on both the art direction and the photography of Mystical Fullmoon’s new release.
While I still can’t showcase the booklet’s artwork, I got the green light to post the promotional shoot.
Intended both for press purposes and for the cd booklet, the shoot was supposed to be a progression from their old look: to go with the rest of the artwork, I had them covered in layers of clay, dirt and metallic powders.

Models: Mystical Fullmoon
Make up artist: Arianna Arcelli.

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Below is a short backstage video of both the make up process and the different stages of editing done to the main group photo.

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Ricette Rock merchandise shoot

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Last year I had the pleasure to photograph the two minds behind Ricette Rock, an italian based food & music resource website geared towards people who like their music loud and their burgers as tall as the stack of Marshalls at a Spinal Tap gig.

Now they have branched out into merchandise (with illustrations by Lele Lutteri) and have a nifty array of products combining their two main features in a tongue in cheek way that I found adorable. I spent a rather busy day assembling all the visuals needed for their e-shop and I’m happy to say they’re now online so have a peek at the results and happy shopping! ^_^

First of all, some of the product shots… got to love that knife and fork skull.

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We had two models for the apparel catalogue, Stefano and Valentina, who bravely put up with me constantly bitching about the curtains that we were using as a background: I can’t stand wonky lines, so guess who spent most of the time rearranging the damn things trying to get them straight? Make up was handled by my usual go-to girl, miss Arianna Arcelli.

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We also shot a couple with a busier setting, to use as presentation material and general eyecandy.

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Circus life

This last month has been hectic for me, hence the scarce (or rather, unexisting!) updates to the blog. Hopefully this will change a bit as I have a stream of finished projects to finally show off.

I’ve been wanting to shoot Cleo Viper, Christopher Wonder and their cadre of pets for some time, and during the course of a rather taxing day we managed to squeeze in several sets. These are the first two, while others more focused on miss Cleo herself will be coming up in the near future.

First in line, a sort of formal portrait of the whole group -got to love that American Gothic vibe!

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A couple of monochrome shots of Christopher and Sir Dante, dog extraordinaire.

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Some more old timey shots. All of these were taken in their Cabinet of Wonders and I must say, the amount of awesome props in that place could keep me busy for months.

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Font face – Zapfino

I have been working on my second installment of anthropomorphic fonts for what seems to be ages. Finally, I was able to find the time to pull a weekender and finish writing, editing and assembling everything! So without further ado, here’s what I think Zapfino looks like, if it was a human!

The model I chose for this is lovely Roberta Pazzesque, who also assembled the outfit. What can I say… got to love a jack of all trades!

As per usual, click on the images to see them full size! :-)

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Sacred

It’s probably a little late to be celebrating the new year, but I am quite happy to start 2014 with this set. It’s the first one shot at my new place and it’s the first one I shot using my new background setup… so far, it seems to be working!

Lovely Glow Swanson wanted portraits that weren’t “standard burlesque” fare and showcased her elegant style; I was more than happy to oblige.

First situation: wearing that flower headpiece and veil, the first impression I had was of an intimate dance.

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Next, we drew inspiration from icons and sacred imagery to create a modern day madonna. Fun fact: you will never guess what was the original use of the black tulle halo she is rocking! ;-)

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Female chauvinist pigs

It’s been a while since I did a Book & Nail post: the constant diy that a new home brings forth has reduced my nails to stubs and frankly, I’ve been neglecting the poor things too long! It’s also ironic that I’m giving in to “girly girl” urges immediately after finishing this particular book, but hey… that’s life.

This time I’m going for Ghetto barbie nails
Fake glue-ons with minimal square cut, hand drawn and with a matte topcoat.

Also, a minor disclaimer: the sort-of-feminist musings that follow should be taken just like that… I’m not denouncing anything or pointing fingers here: as a matter of fact, I am probably planted firmly in the chauvinist pig category myself.

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I picked up Female Chauvinist Pigs during my last trip to the USA in a small bookstore that was basically the living room of a private house, with floors bent by the weight of books stacked everywhere. Used bookstores in holiday spots are strange places and they often surprise me with what people choose to read on their vacation. This particular store was indeed a gem… the memories of an englishmen in Florence during the times of the “Mostro di Firenze” case? Rare occult books? One on insects in criminology? Best of all, not a single Dan Brown or Sophie Kinsella book in sight… who knew that a two-road-town could attract readers like these?

Going back to Ariel Levy’s book, I picked it up from the shelf just to have a good laugh at the cover: unassuming clipart design coupled with Impact title and a 100% magenta background? What was the designer thinking? It looks more like a mockup than a final draft.

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Amused by the title and the blurb on the back, I decided to pinch my snobby designer nose and buy it. A winning idea, as it turned out that the standardized bimbo clipart and blaring “meme” font were particularly well chosen to fit the content, an intriguing analisys of how raunch culture and porno-isation are getting more and more popular with women of the western world, flattening alternative avenues of expression. I won’t review it in depth but this Guardian article sums it up quite nicely.

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Female Chauvinist Pigs deals mainly with the current situation in the USA, but considering that mass culture and the internet have made Italy little more than a dumping ground for trends, I believe that it applies very well to our situation…. in example, you can see Sex & the City mentality in the spending habits and in the proliferation of fashionista blogs that are little more than cries for attention.

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The cult of pornstars-as-mainstream-stars is taking hold here as well: I heard more women than men fawning about Sasha Grey’s visit in Italy and I strongly doubt that all of these were fans of her career. Rather, it’s just another facet of a trend that sees women capitalizing on raunchiness in order to be placed on the same plane as their male counterparts: “I like tits & ass just like you, therefore I am cool and interesting, I am one of the guys”.

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It’s interesting to note that, the more women are acting like men, the more they mimick and idolise an extreme form of female sexuality that is mainly man-driven… and while Levy focuses or porn stars and strippers, in Italy we have only to look at the current events to see the bunga bunga girls in action -in a minor way, one could also make a case for the proliferation of the met-art / nude model scene too.
In my work in advertising and in photography, I have been very lucky with my collaborations and have generally met incredible girls, but there have been times when I came in contact with people of that ilk and I am reminded of how certain subcultures (especially when social media is concerned) thrive on raunch and are used by women as a way to feel empowered and exercise an amount of superiority that wouldn’t be possible if the sexual element was removed from the equation… and that, in my opinion, is something that makes it hard to be taken seriously in any other way.

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