Sunday, 29 January 2017

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone by GothicNarcissusIn fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
Juliet is on her knees:
She shoots to kill and aims to please, oh.

And you can see it in her eyes,
It’s not something that she likes,
But she can’t stand being alone.
So you thank her for her charm
And you take her in your arms,
But she just won’t let you go.

She said her daddy was an alcoholic
And her mother was an animal.
Now she’s living like a rolling stone,
She said that the law will never take her alive
If they take her home.

In Belarus she was a vespertine,
She danced the go-go for the bourgeoisie.
Now she’s here and she is on her knees, oh.

And she won’t apologise
For the cheating and the lies,
But she can’t stand being this way.
And you can see it in her eyes,
She would kill them if they try
To send her back to her grave.

She said her daddy was an alcoholic
And her mother was an animal.
Now she’s living like a rolling stone,
She said that the law will never take her alive
If they take her home.

[ Rolling Stone – Hurts ]

Rolling Stone is easily one of my favourite songs out of Hurts’s latest album, Surrender. The lyrics are a bit too melodramatic, but it’s a very emotional song which painted a vivid image in my head since the first few times I listened to it. Also, it was released as a promotional single and I found the accompaining artwork very inspiring. I decided to take some cues from it, such as the red dress, and who could possibly look better in red than my dearest BriarRose? Also, I wanted a gun in it to give a connection to the whole “my way or burst” theme of the lyrics, and she happened to have one for her Misato Katsuragi cosplay. In short, taking this photo was only a matter of when, rather than how.
To be honest, though, my original idea was more reminescent of the single artwork than you can see: I thought of having BriarRose hold the gun to her chest (not pointed to it, just lying there as a reminder she has control and a way out), glance sideways, and I thought I woul crop the photo below her chin or slightly above the lips to keep the focus on the chest. The problem is, I find it difficult to exclude the models’ faces because I feel like I’m de-humanising them, turning them into mere props for my shooting. Which, in a way, is sort of what I already do, since I have them play a part in a story I want to tell rather than be themselves, but that still makes me a bit uncomfortable. Besides, BriarRose is just so expressive that cropping off her face is a waste of her talent.
Anyway, after I tried some different croppings of my original idea which were kind of good too, BriarRose asked me to shoot a few simple portraits because she liked the look. One of her poses proved so effective that we both agreed to re-shoot it with the gun and keep it as the actual Rolling Stone. Indeed, having her firmly engage the viewer with her gaze, and ready to shoot in the dark if necessary, made the photo all more dramatic and achieved a far better result: the more contemplative side view, with or withoout the close crop, made for more of a victim of circumstances, while the frontal pose puts the character in charge of her own destiny in spite of everything, like the lyrics suggest. Well, that’s why I love working with BriarRose: our creative synergy always brings something fresh to the mix.
Also, one of the “simple” portraits I took turned out so amazing I decided to publish it too, because it fits another, non-Hurts-related idea I wanted to develop. You’ll be seeing it on my Facebook and deviantArt tomorrow!

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