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My Naked Soldier: WWI and WW2
Michael Stokes is publishing two, large scale, fine art photography books.
For 2020 my two books (Sinner or Saint and My Naked Soldier, the latterpictured in this gallery) will be bigger and thicker for an enhanced shelter-in-place experience. This year both books will be 160 pages, 24 pages more than previous books.
To date I have published eight coffee table books composed of my photography -- male figure studies with a sexy and erotic edge. This Kickstarter features two new books. I use Kickstarter to launch books because it gives me an idea of how many books to print and keeps the publishing costs down while offering the best price to customers along with discounts. It's also a fun way for people to watch an art project actualize.
See the video on the Kickstarter page and note that the censored images are fully displayed in the book.
My Naked Soldier:
In 2014, I signed an agreement with Taschen Publishing to print my collection of World War I and II photographs of nude soldiers, titled, My Buddy. The book was an international success and My Buddy is in its second printing with first editions now being offered for over $140. These are "found" photos I've been collecting for over 12 years, and this book will feature some of the absolute best of my collection; all new images, NO re-prints from My Buddy, over 230 photos never seen before.
You will receive a hardcover photo book with a special, cloth cover and three photo inlays, 160 pages and measuring approx. 12.5 inches by 10 inches.
Read about the companion book, "Sinner or Saint", below.
Aboout the companion book, Sinner or Saint
Having photographed male models for over 10 years now, I've noticed that many in my audience prefer men that exhibit outward alpha qualities but at the same time complain about aspects that accompany the alpha male, like arrogance and selfishness. To some extent I understand the built-in contradiction of desire, the dichotomy that leads many of us into failed relationships. What the Madonna-whore complex is to those who desire women, a sinner-saint duality might apply to those who desire men.
This may be why I tend to select models with outward alpha indicators, but then direct them into poses counterbalancing their outward physical presence - a softer, relaxed pose, sometimes looking down instead of directly at the camera, discrete and in some instances graceful. Of course there are images projecting outward confidence, but the ones that bring together dual personalities strike many as ideal. The fact that most of the men are naked already signals vulnerability, but at the same time, posing nude in front of a camera also indicates confidence.
In my personal experience with the models, after years of photographing the same guys and getting to know them on a deeper level, I believe the dichotomy of the masculine and feminine reside within many, and much of the time it is the choice of the subject to project one or the other. Sinner or saint, the reality is every man is both and somewhere in between.
(This book is paired with My Naked Soldier in this Kickstarter project. Follow the link for more information. A photo gallery of Sinner or Saint will soon follow here on Advocate.com)