How did I get involved with Fine Art Nude photography? 

I am a soapstone sculptor on hiatus.. I haven’t had the funds for materials nor the space to create such dusty products as freeform soapstone sculptures in quite a few years but.. when I was living in Kelowna I was very busy in deed. I reached out to a Hospital in the southern states as they were looking for an impressive piece for their entrance way. I had a great sketch and idea/ theory.. and the only reason I lost the commission was due to my sex.

Inspired by that experience, I did look further afield. One specific idea struck me- EcoChallenge, the race that takes place over many days and many different terrains, and was produced by Mark Burnet (the original producer of Survivor, the TV show).

I reached out to Mark Burnet directly.. I didn’t have a home phone so I’d laod up with quarters and head to a nearby payphone and plug away.. wait on hold.. and then talk to The Man about producing a large sculpture that would be indicative of his race. My vision would have one sculpture that would have a wonderful base upon which the name(s) of the winners would be applied in plaque form- much like the Stanley Cup. And, as the base would grow with the years. Oh- and for the winning teams, they wouuld receive a Bronze Casting of The Sculpture in miniature- one per team (because they are expensive to produce). We were on track.. our discussions were moving along quite nicely.. until it came time to talk about the content of the sculpture.

My vision would have a “clamshell” orientation with an extrusion of a female bust on one side and, indented in to the back side of that half shell, would be a male bust in relief. I wanted to go this route because it’s easier to carve a male torso in to a female torso.. the other way around would be.. different. I was alive and excited with the possibility.. but Mr. Burnet didn’t like the naked female body idea.. even though~ from my estimation~ his race was celebrating human ability and my sculpture was doing nothing less.

At any rate, a friend of mine volunteered to be the model for the still photographs from which I would source lines etc. She came over to my studio- at that time, I was living with a photographer in his warehouse styled studio in the North End.. more on that situation later.. Anyhow- she came over and posed for what I thought was many images as examples of how the skin lies and body sits in one specific pose. It was super exciting and I was charged with creative energy.

Long story short- the discussions couldn’t get past the content. So, I meandered off on my own direction.. and the race quickly fell off the radar within four or so years as Mr. Burnet was switching gears and interest/ focus to Survivor. So, even if my sculpture had been taken on by EcoChallenge, it was to be a short lived race.


Mark Burnet

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