So recently I attended BentCon, showing some of my steampunk-beefcake photos. BentCon describes itself, with some accuracy, as “the premiere convention that celebrates and recognizes LGBTQ (and Allies) contributions to pop-culture and geekdom.” Think of a much smaller, less chaotic Comic-Con, in a Burbank airport hotel rather than the San Diego Convention Center, and you’re there. If you’ve read my more recent posts (“recent” in terms of the geological timescale, given my rather alarming failure to post with anything approaching regularity, consistency, or timeliness) the you’re familiar with my current explorations of “Steampunk-beefcake“–a turning-on-its-head of the traditional Steampunk photographic aesthetic of a buxom lady overflowing her corset and wearing a skirt of vapour-inducing, swoon-worthy petticoatless microscopy. As you might guess, faux-antique photographs of lean, muscular male models wearing goggles and top hats proved to be just the thing for the Bent-Con demographic. (Although to be truly, geekily precise, BentCon’s focus is more on comics and superheroes than Steampunk, but there was enough genre overlap that, in the vernacular, “my peeps were there.”
I was delighted with the reception my photos received, which was highly positive (a particularly surprising occurrence in a gallery that included photos and other graphic artworks that featured a more, shall we say, “intimate” image of the male form). And I was especially delighted that four of my seven pieces sold–a function no doubt of their awesome artistic merit as well as their price-point, which the curator suggested could have been boosted a bit. But pricing is an interesting puppy, and I have some thoughts on that. While I may be long of tooth and ancient of years, I am quite baby-fresh and new as a photographer, so I am not at all comfortable with pricing my work–regardless of its undeniable beauty and artistic merit–as if I were Steichen or Liebovitz. Some artists in the gallery with me clearly did not share my relativistic view, and their work, sadly, did not especially sell. In the end, it proved once again that it pays to be cheap. (In this case, since you may be wondering, “cheap”=$25 for an 11×14 print.)
Scroll down to take a look-see at my photos that appeared in the BentCon gallery.
Keywords: BentCon, Photography, Victorian, con, cosplay, gay, male, model, photographer, photographs, steampunk
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