Like the other male physique photographers who came before him, Warren Giddarie appreciates a perfect body and handsome face.
The models who stand in front of his lens at the New York-based Fluorescent Studio smile, wink and sneer at the camera. His love of whiimsy and color is evident not just in his work, but on his website and in his strong social media presence -- most notably, on his Instagram page.
The Foundation was able to catch up with Giddarie and chat with him about his style as an artist, his muses, and his opinion on the importance of artistic freedom of expression.
How long have you been a practicing artist?
I've been taking photos ever since grade school. We had a great photography program that led to a teaching internship at a nonprofit. Only after I moved to NYC about 10 years ago did i begin focusing on my photography as an artistic expression rather than a technical learning.
Who are some of your artistic inspirations?
In the beginning my inspirations were mostly the homoerotic fashion photographs I would see in ARENA homme + and flaunt magazine. Steven Klein and David Lachapelle were the two that stood out for me. Later I became completely enthralled by Gregory Crewdson. His ability to light an entire street and create a cinematic experience with one image just blows me away. I'm always in awe of his images.
How would you describe your style?
People often ask me this question, and I’d say it’s always evolving, but the one thing that is consistent is a sense of whimsy. I want the photos to always be a bit playful.
Besides photography, what mediums do you work with?
I always wanted to be a dancer, but honestly, I don't have the discipline. Photography is what i love and what I feel most comfortable with.
How do you find your models?
Most of my communication happens through Instagram.
Who has been your favorite model to shoot, and why?
Because each of the people I photograph are so different from each other, I couldn't say that I have a favorite. It’s just that I've met some incredible people, and my favorite experiences are the ones that build a relationship.
Your models seem to embody diversity in just about every way. Why do you believe this portrayal of different men in your works is important?
We are all so different and unique. I think it is important for us to support each other and find beauty everywhere.
In what ways are your works similar to and different than those of Bob Mizer?
Well, of course, we both photograph men who are in top physical shape. I wouldn't be able to tell you what motivated Bob; however, I would imagine us to have similar motivations. What I can say is that a huge difference between us would be time. Photographers like Bob certainly had more social taboos when it came to photographing men nude, and during his career it was even illegal. Many of the photographs that would have been risqué for Bob are now considered normal Instagram material. Thanks in part to him, I'm able to take photos that have a reference in art and history.
How do you promote your art in the digital age?
Most of my process has been through Instagram, whether it be sourcing talent promoting or finding inspiration. I just recently created a zine and hope to release next month and every month after, so stay tuned!
Why is freedom of artistic expression so important in photography?
More often than not, I’ll take a great image and then I find I can't really show it because it features a nude body. I hope for less censorship in the future so that everyone can enjoy the images that I take such joy in creating.
What advice do you have for budding photographers and artists?
Find out what it is you love about your craft and continue to practice. Don't worry about the opinions of others because in the end it’s your vision. As long as you feel great about what you're doing, then you've succeeded.