The Fearless Project
BY Albert Smith
June 05 2010 4:00 AM ET
How do you choose your subjects?
Friends, social networks, recommendations, or guys I’ve hooked up with and anything in between. I approach them both as the people that I want to shoot for "Instant" and the photographers/artists abroad that I wanted involved in the project.
Broken down at the roots, "The Fearless Project" exists as a platform of expression — for myself as a curator-art director-photographer; for artists looking to venture into new media, formats, themes; for individuals who are looking for a creative outlet and expression. The goal is to encourage and support anyone to break free from any social, moral, political, religious, personal obligations or boundaries that they have seen as a roadblock.
For the "Instant" exhibition I approached about 400-500 people and asked them if they wanted to be shot for an art show that would be a Polaroid of their face during orgasm. I was not only forcing them to test their own personal limits, but I had to deal with my own fears of rejection and denial. The goal was to create something with this subject matter on a scale and scope that had not been done before.
Frank Yamrus shows his "Rapture" series as formal portraits of facial expressions during orgasm, and Stuart Sandford (who is a contributing artist to "Instant") shot "Cum Faces" as a very raw you-are-there-in-the-bedroom-with-them series. At the time of the first exhibition of "Instant," there are over 80 Polaroids of individual guys' faces during orgasm, with 10 artist submissions depicting their orgasm in their own artistic style. I also wanted to open it up and make it global and have created a "fan army" of guys abroad who have sent in and e-mailed their submissions for "Instant"/"Fearless" as a way to associate with the project and put forward their ideas of sexual and/or artistic expression.
For contributing and collaborative artists, it was the fanboy in me that approached people I admired. I wanted to figure out in which ways we would be interested in seeing what they would come up with as a new task, most of which involved turning themselves into the model. David Buisán illustrates sexy and quirky comic book images and yet had never really done a self-portrait (from being shy and modest), but for the project he has submitted a comic book strip of him coming. Paul Gunn shoots most of the time in Australia, swimwear and idealized chiseled males, but submits a self-exploitative work of his sexuality. Drasko Bogdanovic in his book shot dozens of nude males; however, he never exposed himself in front of the camera. Stéphane Gizard in Paris, Adriano Batista in Barcelona, Lars Stephan in Berlin, and an extensive list of others have led to a global collective of artists connected by "The Fearless Project" working in new subject areas.