Lou Pimentel Collaboration: Katana (NSFW)

by average-eye-con

So last year I worked with the wonderful Lou Pimentel in the run up so his solo show “Visual Notes” at DC based gallery, Art Whino in the summer of 2013. It happened quite organically, I’d followed his work on Instagram and he returned the favour, learning in the process of my own artistic ambitions and my forays into modelling, it seemed like a logical step to pair up. Talented photographer Nicholas Lau worked with me to capture a selection of photos that Lou could use for reference and the results totally blew me away… Due to a little nipple, I’m afraid these are NSFW. I mean, I have no issue with your colleagues seeing my nipples – after all, I did put them on the internet – but it may well make for an awkward conversation, should someone happen to peer over your shoulder…

And if the reference images blew me away, then the final pieces made me nigh on explode. Lou has a very unique watercolour technique, which I’d only previously seen him apply to footwear and pet portraits. While he’d shared with me a bunch of images that had inspired his show, I couldn’t quite imagine how he would apply it to portraiture. The results were incredible.

What struck me most of all, was the attention to detail, it took me a while to notice, but see the barely visible pages in that notebook? Well take another look.

Mind blown. SO, when I saw he was seeking models once again, I was very quick to offer my services – and – fortunately for me, he was happy to accept. This time I teamed up  with my firm favourite – Chris Murray – to capture those all essential reference photos. The title of the show? Katana.

We shot the reference images on January 11th, the day after I returned from my holiday. It was a little on the chilly side but we were happy we’d got a good selection for Lou and sure enough, he picked his favourite and got to work!

The Katana show was being hosted by Swoon Gallery and featured work by Jessica Ward, Juuri, Lauren Saxton and Simona Candini. Lou’s final piece was entitled “The Black Blade”.

The Black Blade by  Lou Pimentel

Lou is originally from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic but has lived in the states since he was just 4 years old, with his family settling in Brooklyn, NYC by the time he was 9. While always interested in art, it was in his teens that he found the inspirations that would continue to fuel his work long past his graduation from the prestigious School of Visual Arts in NYC – comic books and street art! His BA in Illustration honed his techniques and now hard work, dedication and practice are propelling him forward, with staggering results no matter what subject matter or medium he tackles.

Emmanude by Lou Pimentel Madonna and Child by Lou Pimentel One is the Loneliest Number by Lou Pimentel Pointe Shoe by Lou Pimenetel

 

If you would like to commission a piece, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Lou.

I really enjoy this type of collaboration, like any type of modelling, it allows you to explore another facet of your personality but it has the added bonus of an artist reinterpreting that facet.  Add to that my own interest in art, I’m always eager to see the techniques applied, it’s really exciting and I feel like it’s a good opportunity to learn something. This may seem like I’m attributing a little too much credit  to my role but take these collaborations with Lou for instance, these were both the results of a 3 person team and two members of the team were physically miles away from the team leader. As with anything, the more people involved the easier it is for the aim to get diluted. First steps, to ensure I understood what was required of me – this means knowing and understanding the artists works, studying and discussing their inspirations and asking, well, what they need! Picking the right photographer is also essential, selfies unless requested are probably not appropriate – obviously as a photographer they should have a good knowledge of light, colour and composition – but also the aims of the shoot need to be clear. Neither the model nor the photographer’s egos should get in the way of fulfilling the artists vision. Sure, get some shots you like for your respective portfolios but capture the essentials as requested by the artist first.

I’d be curious to see what Lou would capture if I sat for a traditional portrait, how it would differ – if at all – from those painted from a photo. While I feel that both Nicholas and Chris’ photographs are an accurate reflection of my appearance and personality, I can’t help but wonder if somehow the image is overlaid with their perception of me as a subject… I mentioned I enjoyed modelling because it allows me to present different facets of my character, the lens acting as a prism. Is Lou simply painting me, or is Lou reinterpreting Chris’/Nicholas’ take on me? Who knows…

I really do love this type of collaboration, so if you have any projects of this ilk that you think I’d be suitable for, please get in contact.

 

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