Monday 17 August 2015

Arts Of Darkness: Jay Barnard Photography / Deadstar Modelling

Jay Barnard Modelled with Nala
Photography by Giovani Pasta of Pastacore Alternative Photography
Edited by Jay Barnard of Deadstar Models.

“[...] I love old school “B” movies with stacks of tacky sounds effects and acting but its super cool so decided to mix the models I shoot and this together, the models star in a slasher movie of there very own.”

Alternative modelling and photography are a growing sector, and one that is increasingly being seen as a vibrant genre in its own right with many photographers and artists taking on multiple roles as performers stylists and event organisers to see that the art form continues to grow and thrive.

One such photographer is Jay Barnard who has not only begun to carve a niche for himself and a photographer and videographer, but also isn't afraid to get stuck in as a model and has even gone so far to found his own agency (Deadstar Models) in order to give other models a leg up in what can often be a daunting world.

Intravenous Magazine spoke to Jay about his art, agency, the current climate for alternative models and his many projects.

“I guess I have been into art in one for or another all my life but as in photography three years give or take but really got into it in the last two years when I found that I could be just as creative shooting models.”

From looking at his work as a both a photographer and videographer it is hard to pin down a personal style for Barnard's work. However there are certain reoccurring themes, at least from a technical standpoint.
“It's a tough one as I jump through so many styles but I always have a dark element thrown in somewhere weather its in the editing or the actual scene its self and if I can throw in blood and gore then bonus.

“I guess the only thing that continues in each piece is the fact that I do not over edit what you see generally in the image is actually there and not photoshoped into it except on the rare occasion
I keep swapping from scenes to scenes now I’m working deeply on horror style stuff but then could quickly jump into say more punky stuff or Rock. my head is filled with all this craziness then things just jump out hardly ever in order so never presume you know my next move haha.”

In addition to his work behind the camera Jay is also a keen model and his passion has extended to founding his own modelling agency to foster his work and help put other likeminded people in contact with each other.

“Deadstar Modelling initially was simply all about the alternative model creating creative shoots and creating a platform for alternative models to get good portfolios and getting exposure, I find that allot of alternative models don't like signing to agency's as they feel like there can be restricted so I decided to create a label that supports them but without all the ties of agency modelling can create at times.
“The reaction has been overbearing at times but in a good way, I don't see my self as out special just doing something I enjoy doing but since the DEADSTAR label has been created just over a year ago its gone mental and from strength to strength.
“It's really as simple as dropping me a message have a chat throw our ideas together and see what comes of it, I'm happy to work with new and experienced models, there really is no criteria no age limit, no hight or size limit if it works it works.”

Though it is hard to deny there are a lot more people embracing alternative modelling these days, Barnard still knows exactly what to look for in potential models.

“To me its all about the attitude behind the person just because you think you look alternative doesn’t mean you are, and I definitely think you can't be afraid of stepping out and being different to everyone else. In fact I believe you have to be different to the next model that steps through the door.”

In addition to his photography and model agency, Barnard has extended the Deadstar franchise into videography as well, which he is very enthusiastic and optimistic for.

“Yeah this is going to be cool if I do say so my self, I moved into film as I felt I could put a new twist into what I do, also to hit new media platforms like YouTube, make it more interesting and appealing as well as work on new skills you sit still doing the same old too long you will be left behind and forgotten.
“You can expect more craziness but with sound and movement and see models in a new light.”

Deadstar TV is kicking things off with an original web video series called 'Hell In A Cell', which he is more than happy to tell us about.

“This is a series of small videos around three to ten mins long, I love old school “B” movies with stacks of tacky sounds effects and acting but its super cool so decided to mix the models I shoot and this together, the models star in a slasher movie of there very own. The story line is about a mad man The “Doom Maker” played by my self that brings girls home and tortures them in his basement sell in all crazy manors I let my mind go wild and always ends with a model covered in blood.”

But this isn't the only ongoing project that Barnard has in the works, with his promotional team Dsgirls about to hit the catwalk at one of the UK's biggest fetish events.

“There is so many things going on I have set up a Alternative promo/model team called the DSgirls that are taking part in this years “KFS Summer Time Ball Catwalk Show” in Leeds, We are teamed up this year with Rogue Model Management based in Manchester for a catwalk show for those who saw last years that I did will know I step away from normal expected catwalk shows and stick my hint of unique creativity.
“This year like last year the models are modelling the awesome latex creations of Cathouse Latex. Its a massive deal for us and gives everyone a look on how we have moved forward compared to last year.”

The Essentials:

Intravenous Magazine: How do you typically approach creating a new piece and do you have any particular creative rituals? 
Jay Barnard: There is no rituals and the process is all in my head 24/7 then bits seep out and I go with the flow and see where it takes me.
IVM: What tools and techniques do you use day to day? 
JB: Ummmm this is a tough one I start with the set then the model shoot and see what comes of it don't even decide how to edit that piece till I see it after and I look at each picture as its own pice even if in a set. Tool wise I use a old Cannon 500d that I also film with and I still edit most of my work on shockingly enough photoshop elements 7. Don't use light room or other programme’s like that as I don't need to I spend time in getting the set and lighting the way I want it before even taking the first shot. There is no big expensive tools or equipment involved at all.

IVM: Which artists have been your biggest inspirations and/or continue to inspire you and why? 
JB: Wowzers!! Marilyn Manson and Ozzy Osborne is a huge influence to me as they show me that crazy is good and to go with what feels right... a lot of my influences are by the way of the music I like as I relate to it, they put there minds into music as I do my photography and also as stated before horror and gore films even more so lately.

Photography wise I don't think I do I just do things my way without worrying what other photographers think of me and my work.
IVM: Which piece of art did you find the most challenging to create and why? 
JB: I can't think of anything to mind to be honest sometimes pieces just flow and happen others I get a block and I have to sit on it for a week or two during the editing process I guess its just a natural stereotypical artists mind weather its photography, painting, music or what ever else.
IVM: Which piece or pieces are you most proud of and why?
JB: I think it must be the recent work I have shot with model Juju called “A nurse and her Patient” as I think its an awesome dark peace mixing insanity with love and care! The scene is a dingy old mental asylum and I believe the pics speak for themselves. Very twisted sinister and gory
IVM: Do you have any show/exhibition/art book plans for the future?
JB: Show wise it has to be this year's KFS summer time ball in Leeds on 5th of September, as mentioned before Its going to be fun mixing Amazing latex with a new turn on Cat-walking I have been given the job and full control of choreography with help of an amazing burlesque p reformer called “Lolita Latex” that will also be preforming in the show along with other amazing models provided by my own DSgirls and Rogue Model Management.
IVM: If someone is new to you and your art, how do you feel they typically react to it? 
JB: Normally ether “Wow” or “What the F*#k!!” is a fair statement I’d say haha. 

To see more of Jay Barnards's work and to keep up-to-date with his projects, please visit his official website. For more information on Deadstar Modelling and Dsgirls, please visit their official website.

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