official statement...

... regarding puppy love calendar ]

What made you want to take part in the calendar?
I was invited to take a part in the project by a friend of mine, Irish model and businesswoman Melissa Hayward, with whom I have collaborated many times before. It was such a noble cause I didn't hesitate a second when I was asked to participate and organise a photoshoot especially for this occasion.

What do you think of the controversy that has emerged over the recent photos - in specific the 'breastfeeding' picture?
The "controversy" is a word - it is usually used to describe a certain attitude in relation to an issue or subject being exposed to a public view and everybody has an attitude of her/his own. It is also a matter of feelings and perception. It is totally up to an audience and their feelings to see either the artistic or controversial side of an image. It simply gives the spectator a chance to decide which way to follow using perception. I myself absolutely see no signs of "controversy" being "engraved" onto the surface of picture, from my point of view it is a pure artistic expression, a form to underline, in easiest words, that animals should be treated equal to people, should be taken care of if needed and their right as a living-beings should always be respected.

Where did the idea/concept for the pic come about?
I didn't want the picture to be one of those "ok.. so here's a beautiful model and a cute puppy next to her. done" images, I wanted the picture to tell the story, to engage the viewer, to make people think about the content. As for the technical aspects I wanted the picture to be as classical portraiture as it gets with 40s feeling attached and high-fashion styling. There is no particular picture I was really inspired or influenced by.. hold on.. actually, it kind of reminds me of Tori Amos' Boys for Pele cover.. I actually think - yes, that might have been a subconscious impulse. I love her work.

What is your response to those who consider it “distasteful”?
Everybody can and should have his/her own opinion. I do not really feel there's any negative public reaction to the photo (featuring Agata and the puppy). I'm now receiving dozens of emails from strangers from Ireland and abroad with congrats on a great job being done. That really makes your day! Some negative feedback is always a side effect of everybody's work. You just need to swallow that and get over it. The feedback on my webpage and community portals is also very positive - very few sees it as a "controversial" image, nobody called it "distasteful" or "offensive" in any way.. Ok, few folks had mixed feelings about it at first glance, but in the end majority says it's a beautiful, eye-catching, remarkable image and makes them stop for a while and think about the content. It's up to spectator to let the feelings be directed this or the other way. I'm only delivering the message here.

Are you yourself an animal lover?
I am absolutely and truly animal lover. I so far had a mouse, a dog, a hamster, two guineas pigs and a gold fish.. I 'm allergic to cat's fur though.. if it was Kitty Love calendar it wouldn't be so easy, haha!

How did Agata feel about it?
Agata is a professional model, wonderful person and a good friend of mine to be trusted.
She's a stunning beauty I have had a chance to collaborate with in the past and, knowing that she is a devoted animal lover and animal rights activist, it was my first thought to invite her to participate in this project. She was delighted to be be a part of it.

Were/are there any other controversial shots - ones you deemed to be as eye-catching?
You mean in the calendar? Or in the industry? I do not really think the calendar and its content is anyhow controversial - but it's defo an EYE-CATCHER, oh that's for sure. All the pictures, the quality and effort put into production is of the highest standard! Did you get your copy yet? It's beautiful.

Is the controversy taking away from the focus of the calender?
I hope not and, if there really is any "controversy" upon the calendar, I hope it will actually do all the good and help selling the yoke to the last copy in the end. Afterall it is all for good cause and for all the sake of animals at Ash Animal Rescue.. come on folks, it's a CHARITY calendar!

And would you do the same thing again, knowing it has shocked many people in Ireland? Any regrets? Or are you proud of your work?
It might have shocked few but also engaged others who want to get over the details and get behind the calendar and its noble purpose. I would definitelly do the same thing again if asked. I am proud of my work, myself and all the people involved in production. All I'm hoping now is for the calendar to be sold to the last copy and for Ash Resure pups to fully benefit from our commitment.

How did you get the puppy to assume the necessary position?
I am so sorry to disappoint all sensation-seekers, the puppy was not actually breastfeeded on the pic at all.. it was comfortably aslept the whole time of the photoshoot.

Only last night we have earned over 1000 euro by selling the calendar to folks around Dublin. It took as hours as we wandered from one place to another, talked to people, have fun and laugh.. It was so worth any effort. The reaction was surprisingly very positive, people laughed, were amused and curious but didn't think twice when asked to buy a copy and help the pups! This night was so far the best reward for all the hard work we have put into making the calendar. All profit goes straight to Ash Rescue and their animals.
This should be my only comment.


Cap Blackard said...

It's always hilarious when the conservative media latches onto something that's clearly in fun and attacks it. I'm glad the calendar sales have been good. Do a second print and distribute it online and I guarantee you'd sell thousands more. It's brilliant.

Anonymous said...

What breed of dog was the puppy?

kamyk said...

Karmen, zapomniales jeszcze, ze jako fan zwierzat, byles szczesliwym posiadaczem żaby o pseudonimie general Kururin! ;) Moje gratulacje za to co robisz e fotografii. Rewelacja bez dwoch zdan!

karol liver | a photographer said...

A kuru! A kuru! A kururin!!!

Anonymous said...

Generał Kururin...
Całkiem o nim zapomniałem.

Później był jeszcze Pan Szpak
i szacunek dla niego!

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