I am pleased to offer you the opportunity to pre-order discounted and signed copies of two new books in my LARRIKIN series.
I will self-publish and deliver both books within four months of the Kickstarter.
Both books have been photographed and edited, and the layouts are almost complete. For those familiar with my first two Larrikins, they will be the same in production style and look: each will be a quality, dust-jacketed, hardcover, coffee table book, 13x10x1” (33x26x2.5cm ) in size, with 180 art quality, matt-coated pages of my male nudes and portraits inside.
I have an established track record of self-publishing popular and well-received books, having produced and distributed worldwide, fourteen similar large format collections of my work since 2004.
Since I began producing my books, publishing has gone through massive changes. This has particularly effected my books, since their subject, the naked male, is still considered taboo in most countries. And even in the West, liberal books stores have closed in large numbers, so sales of my books rely more and more on online marketing and shopping. Within this new paradigm, Kickstarter has proven to be a godsend. Your contribution here enables me to continue my work and to publish and distribute it in a form and quality that is collectable, but still affordable. It has also connected me with so many more of you wonderful collectors of my art, and with your continued support, we will help keep this art-form, and our collective freedom of expression, alive.
ABOUT THE BOOKS
I’m always searching for new backdrops against which to tell my stories about masculinity and male beauty. Those stories are very tied up with who I am and where I come from. And this series is named after an Australian ideal of masculinity that I relate to.* But as long as I can stay true to my aesthetic, I can do my work anywhere that a man can be an individual and run free. So I’m spreading my wings a little more with each book.
After Larrikin Yakka was published and delivered in 2017, I spent a few months travelling and photographing in Europe and America. Since coming back home to Sydney in October, I've been working to get these two new books in the Larrikin series completed.
The first book is a quiet collection of portraits centred around the home, Larrikin Digs, and was photographed in England and Southern Italy, upstate New York, Florida and Nevada in the US, and here in Sydney, Australia. As the name implies, and as is my habit , these are not glamorous. Shabby chic occasionally. Generally they are more on the menial side , but there’s eclecticism along with a spartan disdain for pretension, fashion or post-modernity. The environments help evoke a nonchalance about the men and imply a stoicism, a little good humour and of course enable a particular physicality and sensuality to shine.
I've recently been previewing cover options on social media, and received wonderful and constructive feedback. The decision is never easy but you can see from the opening image the choice which I made.
The second book, Larrikin Lads, is more about the men at work, mainly in England, but also in New England, (Vermont and upstate New York), toiling and cavorting in unwelcoming semi-rural or semi-industrial environments, again used to emphasise visceral masculinity, but also vulnerabilities. And the men's happy and sweaty perseverance in the dirt is the best eulogy to their unashamed nakedness.
The cover choice after, again, discussing options with many of you, is below.
*I explain the word Larrikin in an introduction in my first Larrikin book, and also on my website , and how, in so many ways, it conveys my male aesthetic, since it basically refers to a man of free spirit, a bit rebellious and questioning of standards and mores.
ABOUT THE REWARDS
I've basically kept the same rewards as last time, with one exception, and made a few changes to existing rewards.
All rewards now offer contributors the option to have their names printed in the books. An opt out option will be included in the survey sent out at the end of the Kickstarter.
The Sponsor and Patron Reward special edition 12x10'" print, to be enclosed in Larrikin Lads, will be chosen by a majority vote by sponsors and patrons in the survey sent at the end of the Kickstarter. I will be placing the options in the Kickstarter shortly.
Sponsors and Patrons now have the option to order and receive up to four additional books with their reward. These may be of either title, and can be ordered when the Kickstarter is completed, as there was no easy way to include the variables within the Kickstarter reward system. The option will be presented in a survey form, or you will be contacted by email.
Reward number four has been added for those who may wish to give extra books as gifts. It also brings the postage cost, per book, right down for collectors in countries that incur high mail charges because of the distance from the mailing centers. And for everyone who lives nearer the mail centers, i.e. in the US, Europe and Australia, the postage for the extra books is free of charge.
ABOUT MY WORK
Those of you who have collected my work from the beginning will know that it has evolved and matured in many ways over the years as I have become more confident of my own photographic voice. In the beginning I sought to emulate those masters of photography whose work inspired or moved me emotionally as well as visually. I was careful and reverential as I re-interpreted and imbued my work with something of my own. Slowly over time I grew confident about expressing what was intrinsic to me, and learned to trust my own instincts and to explore those much more. The world in general is very censorious when it comes to the male nude. Rapid change and globalisation, from my perspective at least, is often regressive rather than progressive. For all the faults you may perceive in Western societies, the liberal democracies, there has never been a safer place to explore our personal freedoms and we should cherish and be prepared to defend them. In some ways I feel as though I’m on the front line of change, being challenged and pushed at every turn. I think it’s more important than ever to hold onto the precious Classical liberal values such as freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
I feel my work has a political statement attached, a kind of defiance and insistence about the place the unashamed male nude should have in mainstream art, but which is continually, and more so today, being denied it. We as humans revere and cherish beauty in all other things. By embracing this art form, we ensure a greater maturation of our civilisation. My work is not just for gay men but for women and for all who should be allowed to appreciate the natural beauty of the human form. I don’t make my work strongly sexual one way of the other but make it personal and at the same time part of a universal story.
Risks and challenges
I have been self publishing for many years, nurturing book projects from the conceptual creation, the photography, post production and design, through to printing , shipping and distribution to book stores, and to you directly.
As I have mentioned above, both books have been photographed and the design and layout is in the final stages.
Sometimes there are delays in shipping or in customs and other transport , that are out of my control, but typically from this point, the proofing, printing, shipping and postage to you will take approximately four months, so that you will receive the books in June.
- (21 days)