Bob Shell: Art of Rope

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Bob Shell: Art of Rope

 

 

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #16

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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Just how did the book Erotic Bondage: Art of Rope come about? Basically, it was Marion’s idea. She’d been looking at my collection of books, including Tony’s Obsession, Petter Hegre’s My Wife, Ralph Gibson’s Deus Ex Machina, Lee Higgs’s Generation Fetish, and others (all confiscated by the cops, none returned, most of them signed copies given to me by the photographers) and decided she wanted The Marion Book. She was heavily into sexual bondage, said she had the most intense orgasms when restrained. She’d shown me a bunch of Polaroid snaps of her bound taken by an old boyfriend. The photography and rigging were amateurish, but she still shined. She also described the bondage sessions she’d done with a recent boyfriend, and complained that he tied the ropes too tight. So I began shooting some bondage sessions with her, something new to me. Oh, I’d played around with handcuffs and such with a few models, but nothing hardcore. I then built a suspension frame, incorporating suggestions from her dad, and built a couple of sets. It was then that I discovered rainbowrope.com, where I found nice soft 1/4 inch Nylon rope in all sorts of colors. I bought a bunch of rope from them as well as some props like an old style dental clamp that Marion fell in love with. We commenced shooting for the book each week after my other obligations were out of the way. After we had some pictures we really liked. I went looking for a publisher. I didn’t think an American publisher would be interested. so I went looking in Germany, where several of my books had been published. My main German publisher was a wing of the Vatican, so I didn’t take this project to them! After several dead ends, I found a publisher, and we began to rough the book out – and then that publisher went bust. I was discouraged, but this had happened before, and so I started over. If I had all the money publishers have gone broke owing me, I might have been as wealthy as the prosecutor thought!

I talked to Lee Higgs and he put me in touch with his publisher in Germany, Goliath. They loved the project and over the course of a year or so we put the book together. In fact they liked it so much that they decided to make it the first of a series under a new imprint, MixOfPix. In the middle of this process Marion died. I was very conflicted about going on with the project, but Marion’s best friend Samantha had seen the photos (and was in some) and said Marion would have wanted me to finish the project, and her other friends I talked to felt the same, I felt they were right, so I hired other models to do the shoots we’d planned and sketched, and finished the book. That I published under my Edward Lee pseudonym had nothing to do with Marion’s death, but had been the plan from the beginning. I had some very straight-laced clients at the time and wanted to keep things separate.

The prosecutor implied that I’d made a lot of money from the book. As photographers who have done picture books will tell you, you do not get rich from this type of book. I did not do a detailed accounting, but by the time I figured in model’s fees, cost of set building, and all the other expenses of doing the shoots for the book, I might just have broken even. I did have some quiet support from photo industry companies, and a cheering section from my dear old friend Monte Zucker, who gleefully showed me the gay bondage he was shooting and critiqued the images for me. But, no matter what the prosecutor implied, I was not rolling in money from this project. The book is out of print now, and my royalties ended long ago, but I’m told it is available from Amazon.

Marion also wanted a website along with the book. She’d been inspired by boundndetermined.com, the website owned by my friend Maria Shadoes, and wanted to call hers bound2bwild.com. I’d registered the name and Maria and I were working on the design. Maria made a good living from the websites she owned and webmastered and was to be our webmaster. All those plans came to naught, though. Marion’s website never went live. So many plans and dreams died with her.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Mr. Shell is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-letters-from-prison-15/

 

Posted in Art, Blog, Book Reviews, Current Events, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

A.H. Scott: The Torch

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The Torch

 

 

Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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Essay by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2018

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“A fool who dances with fascism balances on a tightrope of fallacy. Melody of the cheering masses are the intoxicant that allows the fool to believe all which he thinks and does is a symphony of approval; when in fact, many in that crowd are just amused by circus act that arrived before their eyes. History is a flame which never is truly doused, as it can burn that tightrope the fool balances precariously upon. Empires fall as do fools” – A.H. Scott

The Torch

Callous to the core
When the world wants less of his mess, he presses forth with more, more, more
As everything he ever touches turns to ash
Hopes of Dreamers are dashed
Core of who he is churns on the spit of hate, proving this spoiled, rich man’s son is beneath and below a penniless reprobate
Dollars he may have
But, sense is vacant in his sphere
Accept what the leader says is how a megalomaniac gets his kicks
And, for this year’s pick it isn’t Chairman Kim
But, this propaganda is not about DRPK’s nuclear ambition
This is about an orange hedonist’s vicious disposition
Commandant of Cruelty doesn’t ride solo
Prince of piety is Mike Pence
His swooning gaze at his orange-tinged King can make the world blush a rainbow
Yet, loving your fellow man can never be in the land of He and his preachy beliefs
On a Trump leash Mike always heels, especially if in a stadium where an ungrateful bunch of sons of bitches kneels
So pure Pence is, of mind and soul
Yet, he works under a man whose own words have told to grab a lady’s angel part and not bat a delicate eyelash of backlash
Frauds come and frauds go, but this crapshow of an administration is a swamp that truly overflows
Babies in cages and parents taken away
Standing up and wishing for the day when ICE will melt away
Humans aren’t stained with a stamp of being illegal
But, now they have been judged by a singular man in a house of white as being not worth anything
They are invisible to his eyes
Even when his beloved daughter and wifey pouted to him about hearing the audio of their cries
He still don’t give two shakes of care, but realized the impact of those bad optics were ever so bruising to his brand
MAGA! MAGA! MAGA!
Sounds like a chant of an arm held at a specified angle upward
Making this country great again, isn’t coming on the watch of this regime
Hearing them thar’ words are just a bumper sticker scheme
Trump and his crew of division and despair have been kicking liberty in the rear for more than a year
From that moment he rolled down the escalator in that tarnished tower that bears his name, the push beyond the limits has been clear
Beyond dignity
Beyond respect
Beyond humanity
Beyond shame
Beyond anything considered normal has been eviscerated
Did it happen overnight?
Of course not
We are the frog in the fractured melting pot
Slow boil
Bit by bit, sliding towards something so dire
It can’t happen here
This is America
Red, White and Blue
It can’t happen here
What is the glue to patch the melting pot?
Resistance!
Voices rise!
Democracy!
This is OUR country, not HIS alone!
We are the BEACON in the darkness!
America is MY home and FREEDOM is my song!

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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/a-h-scott-tws/

 

 

 

Posted in Affiliates, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, History, News, Photography, Poetry, Politics, Popular Culture

Mikala Mikrut: Self Love

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Mikala Taking a Sip

 

 

Poetry and Essay by Mikala Mikrut, Copyright 2018

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Photography by Alex Meyer, Copyright 2018

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Self Love

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Her nails, blades that once cut along the dotted line around her neck.

Her skin, galaxies for you to explore but never conquer.
Her laugh, flames of fire to keep you warm under that starry sky.
Her eyes, roses at first glance and brambles at second. 
She has more to learn before she finds you.
She was so used to inhaling smoke that wasn’t hers, now there will only be fresh air.
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Mikala Sunbathing

 

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We live in a world drowning in negativity.
 
It is so easy to fall into the mindset of most, that life is excruciating with all of its trials and unexpected turns for the worst. I am no stranger to self deprecating thoughts. However, I have always known the power of loving oneself and haven’t toyed with that positive power until recently. As people once close to me cut me out of their lives for their own (I hope) justifiable reasons, I am choosing to accept who I am and to move forward by trying to better myself.
 
I believe in me. I believe in the good in people and that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, because life is not made out of expected moments but it does balance the choices we make. Sometimes we make wrong decisions, and that’s okay in the long run. We are only human, an imperfect species by design. It’s what we do to follow up our actions that speaks volumes; making a promise then breaking it speaks volumes as much as saying something you didn’t mean and then making amends. 
 
I acknowledge my own self worth; my confidence is soaring. On this journey of self love, through the testimonies of friends armed with countless examples of the good I have done, I have found that I really am worth attention and love. I even read somewhere that “fake it ’til you make it” really works, so now I even made it a point to walk anywhere with my head high. I’m proud to report that not only do I feel better, but there have been actual instances where strangers walk up to me and express their admiration. 
 
I am not my mistakes. There have been nights where I hardly sleep because I berate myself over and over on what I “should” have done. What I have realized, though, is that it doesn’t matter. If my wrongdoing was to someone that really knows me, then they will accept my apology and forgive me for acting out of my norm. We cannot be expected to be happy and kind every second of every day, and it is of the upmost importance that we learn to forgive ourselves.
 
The poem I wrote was inspired by a drawing I came across that really resonated with me. I know I’m not perfect, if there even is such a thing, but I am so grateful for that because it gives me a direction to go. I know so many people who wake up, go to work, then go to bed unfulfilled and do it all again the next day. That will not be me, I refuse. I will be a strong, happy woman that accepts her trials rather than expecting life to be perfect and cursing the universe when it isn’t.
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Mikala Meditating by the Pool

 
 
About The Author: Mikala Mikrut is a sophomore enrolled at Southern Utah University and  summer intern at Catherine Trifliletti Design, Las Vegas. To access additional articles by Mikala Mikrut, click herehttp://tonyward.com/2018/05/mikala-mikrut-why-be-a-spectator-when-you-can-play-the-game/
 
Posted in Affiliates, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Erotica, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture

Cover Shoot: July 2018

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Cover Shoot July 2018

 

Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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To see additional photos from the Catherine Trifiletti Lookbook Summer 2018, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/gallery/catherine-trifiletti-design/

 

Posted in Accessories, Advertising, Announcements, Art, Current Events, Environment, Erotica, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Women

Announcement: Community Festival at Pennsylvania Convention Center

CC PACC June 30th West Wing Art Tours Ad_festival

West Wing Art Tours

 

 

In partnership with Wawa Welcome America, the Center is opening its doors for the 1st time to the public this Saturday, June 30th, from 12pm – 5pm for free, self-guided art tours of our newly installed $1.5 million West Wing Art Collection. Enter on Broad Street with last entry at 4:30pm. We are also hosting a Community Festival in our Grand Hall with free, fun-filled activities for all. We hope you can join us & “Make It A Day” by also enjoying Reading Terminal Market’s “Philly Ice Cream Scoop” & PAFA’s “Free Museum Day”.  
 
This will be an exciting afternoon at the Pennsylvania Convention Center tomorrow. I will be set up in front of my permanent installation of the House of Prayer portraits on the ground floor of the west wing from 12:00PM to 5:00 PM. I hope to see you there!
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Posted in Announcements, Art, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Popular Culture