What a journey - I took this self-portrait in 2015 and finally published it as part of my project ‘Hex 000000’ at the end of last year. Tonight, ‘Hex 000000’ will be shown at the London techno-fetish event by @.
I first shared this photo on my Tumblr in 2015 with the text below, still as relevant as ever:
“8 years ago, in May 2007, I picked up my first camera.
Since then, I have lost count of the people who let me photograph them naked.
People who gave me their complete trust.
Full dedication and sheer intimacy.
No payments. No regrets.
It often makes me wonder.
I am left with pure admiration to their confidence and sense of liberation. I am inspired and forever in love.
I am grateful and humbled.
8 years and so many nudes of others, but nothing of me.
I feel I am obliged to do so.
This is my way of saying thank you. Thank you for giving me the courage and reminding me that we are all flesh and bones underneath our external identities and nationalities.
We are also a tiny speck in an impossible-to-describe enormous universe.
Our self-importance is irrelevant.
I am also doing it with the inspiration of Neil Gaiman’s words, taken from a speech he gave for the 2012 graduates of The Philadelphia University of the Arts:
“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself...That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.”
So it’s not my heart, and it’s not my mind or my insides... but I am a photographer who never exposed himself this way.
It almost feels like a necessary step I must take to move forward in my progress as an artist and a human being ...creature, whatever.
Finally, although I am covered in body paint and my face is cropped out of the image, I am still shitting my pants.
But at the same time,
it’s just a body.
We all have bodies.
And here’s to a better future, for all of us.
Thank you! Ben.”
The photo was taken with the assistance of my friend Kei. London, UK. May 5, 2015.
Click the link in my bio to see the full project uncensored.