Blake Little is an award winning photographer based in LA. He has photographed for celebrities and big clients alike, but none of them are as interesting as his recent “Preservation” series.
I found his work through his recent Juxtapoz short article back in February. Little speaks of how the project came to by through a fairly cliche photo shoot featuring a typical “Bear” (normally a gay, hairy, large, burly man) and having him eating honey. Though the shoot itself came with mixed results, Little speaks of how something beautiful began to happen with how the honey dripped from the model’s hands.
And so, a reaction that ended up with 900+ gallons of honey being poured over dozens of models, varying from humans to dogs, ages 1 -85, couples, and more came into fruition.
The title “Preservation” came from how being encased in honey made the appearance of being immortalized in amber. Though these models do seem trapped in a moment, the real appeal for me is how the dense, heavy material is in stark contrast to the fluid anatomy found underneath. The way the honey reacts to body features, such as tattoos or hair, creates a compelling dimensional to an otherwise 2D craft. My inner draftsman is giddy over the emphasized value shapes created from the massive highlights -though in similar positions as any other sculpture, the light shapes are shifted just enough as to create an intriguing distortion as to the body underneath.
The delicious drips formed from gravity adds to the intense experience of viewing these images. Perhaps my favorite part, in all this, is the simplicity of the project – simply find interesting looking people (“I wanted interesting, unique people, not just pretty people,” quotes Little) and cover them in gallons of honey. The magic that happens is simply from the two natural features, anatomy and organic honey, coexisting together.
Check out more about this body of work, how it was made and how all that delicious, delicious honey felt as a model, in the short video below: