"A Green Man is a sculpture, drawing, or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves. Branches or vines may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit. Commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament, Green Men are frequently found on carvings in churches and other buildings (both secular and ecclesiastical). "The Green Man" is also a popular name for English public houses and various interpretations of the name appear on inn signs, which sometimes show a full figure rather than just the head.
The Green Man motif has many variations. Found in many cultures around the world, the Green Man is often related to natural vegetative deities springing up in different cultures throughout the ages. Primarily it is interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, or "renaissance," representing the cycle of growth each spring. Some speculate that the mythology of the Green Man developed independently in the traditions of separate ancient cultures and evolved into the wide variety of examples found throughout history."
I am so in love with Ari. One day alone with him out on the barren salt flats of Utah and my life was changed. It was storming in town and in the middle of a torrential downpour I realized I was flat broke and had a shoot in an hour with Ari. Our first. I drove home and pulled together enough quarters to get some gas. No money even for a bottle of water. I was an hour late but Ari didn't give up on me. We drove two hours out to the salt flats near the Utah/Nevada border and by the time we got there Ari's gentle voice had calmed me.
We never discussed what we would do - I just told him I wanted to take some pictures of him. In the back of the car I had a wooden bench and some ropes. Each of us grabbed an end of the bench and we walked a quarter mile out onto the salt flats. Within a few minutes Ari was naked. We were so connected by then that I didn't half to ask and he didn't have to wonder; his clothes simply came off and there before me was one of the most beautiful people I'd ever seen. All six feet five of him. Tears welled up in my eyes and I felt something shifting inside of me.
A serious beating at the hands of the grim reaper a few years earlier had left me wounded, frightened and withdrawn. I knew I was losing my grip and the only thing I could think of to do was to pick up my cameras and start taking pictures again.
I saw Ari one day in the grocery store where I was working and as I looked up at him all I could do was point to my chin and then his and ask, "Maori?" The most beautiful smile spread across his face as he looked at me in wonderment and said, "Why yes. How did you know?" A few days later he was standing before me naked out on the salt flats in the barren wastelands of the Great Salt Lake Desert.
Ari's soul has been tempered by challenges I will likely never understand. What I do understand is that the immensity of his gentleness and love changed me that day out there on the desert. I knew that what I was seeing through my lens was the magic I needed to get my life going again. It was like Ari had re-lit my pilot light and I was feeling the fires of creativity warming me up.
Sometimes just to be in the presence of extraordinary people transforms us, with or without our consent or cooperation. All we have to do is be there.
With Ari that day on the desert my life as an artist got a new start. From out of nowhere all of these amazing people started showing up, one more beautiful than the next. And on and on it went. And continues still. Every time I see Ari he throws his arms around me and doesn't let go. There is something beautiful between us and I think the only way to understand it is to look at the pictures and feel it...
This calendar explores same-sex affection throughout history.
All of these depictions are based on real people. Most of these historical figures are widely accepted to have been homosexual or bisexual. Some of them, such as Saints Sergius and Bacchus, are known for their unusual closeness, but scholars disagree on whether or not they were romantically involved. History isn't an exact science, and all too often truths are hidden or rewritten after the fact by people who wish to erase gay people from history.
This project wasn't about proving without a doubt whether or not a certain historical figure was gay; but rather exploring same-sex affection when enough evidence existed to at least consider it a reasonable possibility. Some scholars are quick to dismiss the love between men like David and Jonathan as merely "platonic", but ask yourself, if the love between a man and woman were described with as much passion and endearment, would anyone doubt that they may have been romantically involved?
I invite you to ponder these issues, as well as appreciate the depth and breadth of same-sex affection among human beings. Homosexuality has existed in all human cultures throughout time; and men who love men have stood among those who have made the greatest contributions to human civilization.