Rick Day Inhabits a rather rarefied world of photography when you consider it an art form. It might be safe to say that any male model who has come along within the last couple of decades considers it a badge of honor as well as a rite of passage to be lensed by this man. He has surely achieved an undeniably palpable international status for those within the sphere of models. An image lensed by him might even be considered the gold standard or possibly a silent signal of having “arrived” at a particularly elevated position within the hierarchy of the modeling profession, both male and female.
For those who wish to take it a step further one might even say that there is some sort of fetishistic quality to the finished image and by that I mean a sort of hyper glorification or possibly objectification of the subject that stands before him.
In these times of what is considered to be politically correct or acceptable for publication on social media platforms it is indeed perplexing and frustrating a best; think “free the nipple” or male sex organs as being verboten but not someone’s bare ass or a or 2 totally nude bodies lying on top of each other. We live in times of double standards for just about anything and everything from world politics to simple images on Facebook or Instagram. In my opinion we have culturally lost or stifled some of your greatest visual artists with these blatantly selective/erratic and hyper vigilant rules of so called decorum.
It is no wonder than someone who glorifies the human form must turn to self-publishing in order to “expose and express” their work in its unaltered state; which is brings up to the topic at hand and that is Castings, a photographic chronicle or essay of Rick Day’s oeuvre.
Jeffrey Felner: Can you tell us the how and the why this book came about?
Rick Day: Castings is a project that I had in the back of my mind for many years. I published my first book Players Bruno Gmünder 8 years ago. I was always fascinated by an athlete’s physique and wanted to capture them in their most intimate moments. The result was a series of highly intimate erotic images of athletes. As hard as it was to find models to pose for my first book, the next books, thanks largely to the success of Players and the explosion of social media, finding models became much easier. I ended up doing 4 more books with my publisher. The last book, BelAmi, was shot over three years in three continents and captured the beauty of the BelAmi models, giving the viewer a behind the scene look at the BelAmi world. Not the on camera sex but the youthfulness, playfulness and charm of these models. This behind the scene is really the idea for this new book Castings. It’s like a journal of my daily life; everything from models coming by for a go/see, outtakes from various jobs, or models just fooling around on set. It’s a fun, cheeky, very sexy collection of images featuring top agency models and Instagram “celebrities” in ways that might be considered uninhibited, daring, fun and definitely not always Instagram friendly.
JF: Can you explain the criteria you used to determine who would or would not appear in the book?
RD: As with any book I am putting together … There are always too many images and not enough pages. All of my past books have been erotic nudes … It doesn’t really encompass all of the things I shoot. This book is a departure from my past books as I want it to feel like a behind the scenes and out take diary of many varying and assorted shoots … often times my favorite images never make it to publication. Deciding on who makes the cut for the book and who doesn’t is always a hard decision. This time it’s not really about the « model” but about the feel/message of the book. I always hate this question because I would love to put everyone in every book.
JF: This is your first self-published book; can you tell us why you chose this avenue of publication as well as the pros and cons of doing this?
RD: The reason I decided to self-publish was the creative aspect of this book so that it was not limited to just nudes … or bodies. It was a chance to really have fun putting a book together without the pressure from a publishing house about exactly what images I need to include. The publishing house I was with in the past was amazing and I really appreciated their input however this type of book would not have really fit into their catalogue and I have never had a limited edition book published prior to this one. I am an avid collector of books and I really love having many many books that are hard to find after they have sold out.
It’s exciting and nerve wracking this self-publishing; so I hope that if you like what I shoot… you will not miss out on the chance to own and contribute to this book in some way.