shirtless man stands in front of elaborate copper gates looking up

The Man from Buffalo

nude man in fetal position in industrial sink in abandoned factory
Dry Basin

A couple of years ago, I returned to Buffalo to explore some of the many abandoned buildings. I was hoping, once again, to bring a model into these locations. Buffalo is one of those legacy cities in the Midwest responsible for industrialization throughout our country. It’s an element of those factory cities that surround Lake Erie. Unfortunately, it’s also one of those cities that has collapsed under those same industrializing trends. Businesses moved to places of cheaper labor and the cities faltered. Left behind are the massive remains of those companies. Iron ghosts with skeletons of promise.

nude man standing if front of weathered ductwork
nude man stands in front of old factory windows
Beyond the blue

The other amazing fact is that cities like this garnered huge amounts of wealth. Innovators and pioneers amassed vast fortunes. They loved to display their success through more architectural construction. Even their tombs displayed wealth and power to audiences long gone. Much like the ancient Egyptians, the edifices remain while the physical being and societal impressions have faded. Buffalo also has a wonderful old cemetery that offers visual treats. Its various structures become symbols of past glory, hinting at how quickly time can erase man’s trace on this temporal world.

view looking up at nude man bracing himself against marble columns
angular shot of nude man in fetal position standing on urn in front of classical structure

Describing both of these divergent yet coexistent concepts seemed appropriate to Buffalo. It was a city that had so much to offer. Even though it’s days of prosperity and growth have past, there is still an amazing heritage waiting to be recognized.

nude man shielding his eyes while holding a set of scales in front of classical structure
Tipping Point
nude man in abandoned factory
Anguish of Time

And now a brief word about my model. First, it needs to be said that models are difficult to find. Once discovered they can sometimes become very unreliable and fickle. Devin was a last minute contact. Though we had never met, I was amazed with his commitment. He was prompt and energetic. He took direction like a trooper, allowing me to work him into some fairly dangerous and visible spots. But I think he understood the creative drive. I’m grateful to say that I’ve had a few models with this level of understanding. Some of them are already in the arts so they get it. But it’s refreshing when it comes from a complete stranger.

nude man holding huge globe in middle of columned structure outdoors
Centrum Mundi
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