Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 06/18/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you want to see how a beefcake calendar is made, then here you go. If you like Spanish pretty boys, then you should peep this. There is dorsal nudity, but I didn't see any frontal nudity. Sometimes it is hard to watch the scenes and read the subtitles simultaneously, and sometimes the subtitles had spelling errors in them. The models are relaxed and unpretentious. Sometimes the photographer's dialogue is overdone though. For example, he says something like, "I felt so protected when I was around Diego and his rowing mates." Really, he should have said, "Hey! I get turned on being around hot guys!" This work got repetitive quickly. Still, it may be nice to have playing in the background during a party. It promotes that Beauty Myth look: thin, hairless, and young. The photographer was a bearish type and I would have much rather seen him shirtless and posing than these Ken dolls. Though the photographer is Basque, all of the dialogue is in standard Spanish."
Artist and Model
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/29/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Pedro Usabiaga is a well-established Basque photographer whose chief concerns are figurative photography and whose passion in photographing the Spanish male. In this hour long conversation with the artist we are given entry into that process of selecting models (none of the models he uses for this book to be titled 'Private Diary' are professional, but instead are randomly chosen as Usabiaga observes athletes in action) and then allowed to follow Usabiaga and his crew as they photograph these men in natural settings and natural light.
The models are splendidly handsome young Spaniards - surfers, horsemen, swimmers, beach kite fliers, woodchoppers, rope climbers, runners - whose collective body fat is probably close to 0%! These are not body builders but instead are perfectly sculpted male forms who are open to the photographer's ideas and willing to go places professional models might question.
There is nothing at all traditionally erotic about these pictures we watch developing: there is no complete nudity, the focus of the camera is on the muscles at work and the faces of these inordinately handsome young men. The result is a casual conversational approach to the art of photographing the figure and the results are very fine indeed.
Usabiaga narrates in voice-over and his words are quite poetic. Coupled with a background of Bach, Beethoven, and some contemporary composers the overall effect is artistic and therefore sensual in the finest sense of the term. Yes, there is bountiful eye candy here, but there is also a richly detailed account of the relationship between artist and model offered in a finely tuned manner. And Spain never looked so beautiful! Grady Harp, September 06"