Oliver is hardly the first model we've taken up to the roof of the 3-story townhouse that the studio calls home. Oliver isn't even the first French model we've had on the roof this month; see the previous blog entry. Oliver's session was, however, the first time we'd been up there in mid-day.
Every building has a roof, in New York, most of them are accessible. The view from our roof on Bleeker Street ("backdrop" is probably a better word than "view") is quintessentially New York. Surrounded by taller buildings, hundreds of windows stare down. The obvious lack of privacy is hardly a concern for New Yorkers.
Affectionately known as "tar beach," New York City's roofs are popular hangouts for tenement dwellers, residents of high-rise co-ops and owners of private brownstones alike. Suntans by day, parties by night. That they are such a part of the city's culture is affirmed by the enduring popularity of Carol King's song Up On on the Roof, recorded by The Drifters in 1962.* It could have served as the soundtrack for Oliver's session.
It's always fun to get outside and to work in the fresh air; but this was August and we only lasted about 15 minutes. The heat was brutal. At one point, seated in a deck chair, 20 feet in front of the model, I reached down to move my chair a few feet to the left. It wouldn't budge. Each of the four legs had fused with the roof; sinking a full inch into the thick layer of tar. I took that as nature's sign that it was time to head downstairs to the shade and relative cool of the studio.
Oliver is one of the studio's "happenstance" models. He calls Paris home. Our base in New York City affords us the opportunity to work with many models passing through the city. Oliver had inquired about doing a session with us last spring. His job with a major international airline meant that it was just a matter of time before we could pull it off.
We're counting on the same travel benefits to get Oliver back for a second session later in the year. I'm not sure if the "view" from the roof warrants another session, but the model himself certainly does. He possesses one of the most impressive physiques we've shot this year and we look forward to working with him again on a future trip to the city.
In the meantime check out the images from his first session in Oliver's gallery. Head on over to the Art Prints gallery for additional images.
In the coming weeks and months as more images will be added to Oliver's gallery. Subscribe to our RSS feed (below) to keep up to date with new arrivals on the site.
* For those interested in a more contemporary rendition of Up on the Roof, here's a link to a 2007 version by II D Extreme with a collage of rooftop images of NYC.