Double trouble, in the form of Teressa Cee & Alexis Wildgoose, for the epilogue of Matt’s feverish furlough to the Magic City, featuring a spotlight stealing turn from Diesel - a tail-waggingly majestic bowwow. Shooting once more with thanks to Judd Allison in the Toejam Backlot, the graffiti backdropping the buxom beauts was created as part of last year’s Art Basel - though I’d wager that the barbed-wire is not part of the installation…
For more eye-candy, and the odd bit of cannonry, ride the jump.
Swapping the frigid frost of a particularly piercing Canadian winter for the (albeit temporary) solar incandescent surroundings of Miami, that lucky devil Matt hooked up with model Jada Cheng - in a series that should inspire perspiration in even the coldest conditions. Shot in the Wynwood art district, in and around the Toejam Backlot, Matt & Jada, with help from producer Judd, made the most of a pair of libidinous Louboutins & a ‘69 Corvette - need I say more?
Within the oceanside city of Carpinteria (in California’s Santa Barbara County) Matt met the Thicke family; namely actor Alan, wife & model Tanya & his son Carter…leads of the upcoming reality-comedy series “Unusually Thicke”, for which Matt was asked to shoot these candid promotional portraits. The series follows the unconventional pursuits of the Thicke clan (one that includes voice-actor Brennan & blue-eyed soul singer Robin, who are rumoured to make appearances) with the relationship between acclaimed Canadian actor Alan & his espoused paramour Tanya (as dazzling as she is droll) taking centre-stage. The hook-up for this project came through Matt’s old friend Guillermo Garcia, and brought him to a part of the world that he has something of a deep, lustful infatuation with. Pass the jump for additional Thicke-ness & look for the show to air in the Spring of this year…
It was Matt’s pleasure, mid-weekend jaunt to New York City, to once again meet up with astute aesthete Nick Wooster, after coming together, quite off the cuff, for several portraits in late-autumn of 2011. This succeeding rendezvous saw the two collude in studio, the results of which make for contrasting, more personal, viewing.
The Passing Shot: We’re pleased you were able to reconnect with Matt after meeting for a quickie a few years back. Is there a distinct difference between the Nick Wooster of 2011 and he of 2014?
Nick Wooster: I guess I am just older. I am never really conscious of “what I am wearing” or “what I am going to look like”. I just acquire stuff that I think is cool or that I really like…and figure it out as I have to get dressed.
TPS: Your personal approach to style looks to be as acute as ever (the collar pin is a lovely touch). What were you wearing that day? Was there any particular process behind it or was it simply what you happened to have on at the time?
NW: I was wearing a Thom Browne coat with a fur collar. It had just turned chilly, after a welcome day of moderate temperature. Underneath was a Neil Barrett black and white houndstooth jacket and a Club Monaco houndstooth vest. The white oxford shirt was Thom Browne, as were the pants. The shoes were Trickers. I had actually been shooting all day for a Korean client, and wanted to wear something different from what I had on all day. The only process what that I had 5 minutes to get dressed and out the door.
TPS: Does “trend” or movement in fashion dictate the evolution of your own style or is it not something you pay much attention to? Do men pay little or less heed to this sort of thing in general?
NW: It is well documented that I HATE the word trend or anything that smacks of “trends” or trendy. Have I ever gotten caught up in a “trend”? Absolutely - but I would never set out to take these so called “trends” and build a wardrobe around them. I believe in occasion. In that regard, I feel it is absolutely appropriate to break away from a uniform when the moment is right.
TPS: Seeing as we’re speaking in the midst of a rather robustly chilly winter, what are you looking forward to wearing when the weather starts to turn? You seem quite comfortable in an almost uniform combo of tailored short and blazer - is this once more to be on the docket for summer?
NW: I love the summer, but hate summer “clothes”. It’s way harder to feel polished in humidity. I wear shorts with a jacket because:
a. I feel “dressed” with a jacket
b. Shorts are a ventilation tool.
That’s it - nothing more special than that.
TPS: You shot with Matt in studio this time, the result of which feels more intimate than on the street. Have you a preference to location versus studio photography, when it comes to being photographed? You’re certainly often photographed but do you enjoy sitting for a portrait?
NW: I truly hate having my picture taken. I know that sounds ridiculous, but when I am caught on the street with sunglasses, there isn’t much I have to do. Sitting in front of a camera is way more intimidating. It brings every shred of negative self image straight into my consciousness like a bazooka, but Matt made it way less scary for me - for that I am super grateful.
We’re proud to reveal our regard for such an adroit Torontonian today, quite fittingly, on his birthday.
TALWST, né Curtis Santiago, is something of a fine-art factotum. Equally skilled are his talents in music, mixed media and performance, it’s impossible to deign to label him with any one title. Drifting purposefully between Toronto & New York (though reared on Canada’s west coast with roots in Trinidad), TALWST’s musical manifestation, an almost mythical creation with monumental stature that has worked with grammy-nominated Illangelo, dwarfs his current fixation, literally, which provides interesting juxtaposition. Infinity, a project consuming his most recent past, is a series of miniature dioramas of landscapes inhabited by reconstructed fantastical Preiser figures; pocket-sized microcosms that are housed in reclaimed ring boxes. This work’s thematic base encompasses both the vastness and atomity of how TALWST views our world, using the miniatures’ minuteness to exhibit immense ideas - to put his own statement in rather broad terms…
TALWST’s Toronto-transport saw him propelled into the city’s art, music & nightlife scene; one in which he, someone as natty as gnostic, was naturally thrust to the fore. It was here that he and Matt developed a working relationship, as subject & photographer, that has led to both a mutual respect and, eventually, a friendship.
Savvy, strapping Torontonians in-the-know have been taking advantage of the Academy of Lions since it’s inception (as downtown T.O.’s first CrossFit affiliated gym) in 2008, though it’s taken Johnny-come-lately fitness buff Matt until the end of last year to discover it. While the sinewy skills of solemn Russian owner Dhani Oks (who, remarkably, can do a Turkish Getup hoisting a person, rather than standard kettle bell) drew Matt to the equal parts community & CrossFit driven sweat-shoppe, it’s perhaps a third ‘C’, the Academy’s buttered Bullet Proof Coffee, that keeps him coming back.
Setting out to capture the gymnasium’s complete dynamic, and not merely the Academy’s top
dog cat, Matt went about photographing all of those involved, from trainer to nutritionist; even managing to sneak in to document the family behind the weightlifting team practise - the Varbanovs, a robust full-bodied Bulgarian trio, consisting of father Alex (a world-record holder), his wife Irina & son Niki, who, despite his tender age, is already looking like a chip off the ol’ block.
Work up a sweat with more from Dhani & his Pride, past the jump…
Having set off from Toronto to northern Ontario in a custom matte black ‘81 Ford Holiday RV dubbed the Beaver Mobile (both for an adoration of the castor canadensis and a creature of an altogether different, though equally furry, variety), the following experience was a ribald stretch of uniquely Canadian good cheer…
Collaborating with founder Will Poho, Matt took to Crystal Lake to shoot Moose Knuckles' Fall/Winter '14 lookbook, an encounter comprised of boisterously long days and bawdy nights in the company of a battery of beautiful people. Pre, post & mid-shoot tomfoolery may have been a result of mainlined-maple syrup; side-effects of which included a devilish spot of hot-tubbing and a little northern exposure in the form of a polar bear dip. Blessedly, the sub-zero weather was easily dealt with, a fact owed to hookups from Ian Moodie at Newcastle Brown Ale and Sarah Brown-Duncan from Jäger, though shooting half-buck naked in a duck-down jacket is just the sort of sport that Canadian winters are made for.
Brave the frost-bitten jump for much more from Matt & Moose Knuckles, as well as a rundown of all of those who were involved.
Commissioned by E!, Matt set out to tackle the task of photographing daunting beauty Jenna Talackova, the transgender model who shot to fame after being disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada competition and, with assistance from civil rights attorney Gloria Allred (who must have had one hell of a chinwag with disputatious pageant owner Donald Trump), was reinstated - a groundbreaking gig that saw Jenna go on to finish in the top twelve of the competition. Having ignited from the heat of the spotlight, post-Trump triumph, the long-legged looker’s éclat was rewarded with a Docu-series entitled Brave New Girls, which follows the Vancouver native as she trades in her west coast lifestyle for the metropolitan moil of Toronto; a city where she aspires to attain a modelling career that matches her ambition, with support from cousin Angela & best friend Dajana.
Catch Brave New Girls Sundays at 10e/7p on E!, but not until you get a load of Matt in the video below, dishin’ out tips on how to take better photographs. His secret is out!
Following up Tuesday’s solicitation to a studio-based sausage fest, today your Passing Shot invitation allows access to a low down dirty clam-bake circa late last summer; shared for the first time, in all it’s calidity. Brought about for the benefit of the Toronto-based Down With Webster, comrades of Matt’s for a good number of years now, the shoot is and was exactly what it appears to be - a soirée of a scurrilous magnitude in celebration of the band’s latest album. The horde annexed a house in the sticks (after a tequila led ride in a school bus prone to breast baring hijinks) accompanied by a pirate’s bounty of booze & booty, for a party bursting with the same sort of frenetic energy found in DWW’s music. Treat your peepers to a peek at the slick BTS video before soaking up the rest of this rather colossal series - one which is only a nipple or two away from being occupationally hazardous, or, more colloquially, NSFW, and features Passing Shot darlings Kristie Taylor, Kay de Courval and Maycee Lara-Jade amongst a bevy of equally libidinous babes…