Photo Blog by Mark I Chester

Mark I Chester studio  1229 Folsom St./SF  415-6294
all images are 2012 Mark I Chester

February 09, 2012

photo of the day 2/9/2012   photo Mark I Chester

I am posting this photograph of Ganymede Jeff Andrews with an important grouping of his family for his birthday. Top: L-R, Cullen Frandsen, Rig Daddi, Ganymede, Fakir Musafar. Bottom: L-R - Sam Winslow, Cleo Dubois

To be honest, I like this photograph because it documents this particular family and group of friends despite its technical problems or maybe because of them. This was done at Dore 2010 and the lighting was really meant for one or two people. I forgot to change it when I started photographing them. The men are all smiling, but Sam and Cleo look very serious. And I seated Sam and Cleo too low for this shot. So why am I showing you a photograph with lots of technical errors? Because, life, love and relationships are like that. In some ways it is a far more honest photograph of a particular moment than a predictable all smiles moment, even though that is what I would have preferred. ;) People don't really want real moments as much as they want fantasies of real moments. <eg>

I first met Ganymede in April of 1983, so nearly 30 years ago. I convinced John Embry of Drummer Magazine to pay 1/2 my airfare and send me to San Diego to photograph the New World Rubberman's Club get together. They would be the first pix of men in rubber to ever appear in Drummer. Ganymede was one of the attendees. He was unique and different, even back then, although we were both a lot younger. <eg> And I don't think he was living in the SF Bay Area at that point. I still remember the odd and yet endearing image of Ganymede in full rubber, sitting at the piano and playing. One of those strange visual constructs that anyone in fetish or the underground sexual world has encountered at some point. It was totally weird and yet totally natural at the same time. Because the reality is that no matter how hot the scene, no matter how sexy the fetish, someone still needs to clean up and wash the dishes. ;)  And years later with Ganymede leading the rituals, we did a series of piercing rituals with first Jim Ward and later Jim and Fakir in my Folsom St. studio.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then including lovers, deaths, rituals, separations and a coming back together. Like this photograph, not everything is perfect, the way we would like to fantasize that they would be. Some things I wish I could get back and do differently, but that is life. We define ourselves and our lives with every step that we take. I still believe that it is more important to live life fully and fiercely... and yes, passionately, than to try to live a life that is careful and perfect, with the corners always tucked in just right.