Monday, August 8, 2016

Mitchel Gray Brings New Dimensions to Art and Bodies in Photography

For the past 35 years, Mitchel Gray has made Photography his passion, and now he has brought it to a new level. 
As an accomplished fashion, beauty, and lingerie artist, he has always loved shooting bodies, and now has brought creativity plus balance into beauty into focus.

"I sought to find the athlete doing natural movements in their professions. Everyone sees sports stars, but we see the outside," Mitchel says. 
"What was going on under the uniform, the padding? That is what I show through my lens."

Doing celebrity portraits for years brought me to this place where the athlete can show the whole range of athletic abilities in a series of shots of the athlete as natural as they wish to be. 

Normal body shots have taken on creativity, a beauty, and agility, and a Mitchel finesses it into a gloriously beautiful picture. A swimmer, a roller derby girl, a kickboxer, an archer- what will be see?

“Bodies In Action” is an ongoing photographic series that Mitchel Gray began in late 2014. The concept behind the series is to illustrate what the bodies of great athletes are actually doing under all the equipment, padding, and uniforms while they are performing their sport, in a uniquely artful, dramatic, and informative style. 

All of the photos are made at Mitchel’s studio in New York City. He employs a distinctive, exacting, lighting approach that is designed to emphasize musculature, action, and grace. “The lighting is key,” Mitchel clarifies.

There is one more aspect to these photos that make them truly a “first” in the genre – in each photo in the series that appears to have two people in it, there is actually only the same person shot in opposition to them. 

This approach allows Mitchel to emphasize two sides of the same body in one frame, seamlessly and within the construct of the action. Many of the subjects are Olympians or Olympic hopefuls, and all are gifted athletes. 

Mitchel has enjoyed the cooperation of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the New York Athletic Club in the creation of “Bodies in Action.

“This method of shooting looks as if there are two people fiercely engaging and it is the same body, the same movement. It’s a full 360 shot I am doing,” Mitchel explains. “Offense to defense. Creative lighting – around and backgrounds add mystery to these shots. It depends on the individual, they are participating in the moment and they make it theirs.”

Elements of the series have already been featured in the National Art Museum of Sport, and there will be a gallery show for the series in New York on August 10th Opening through September 8th at The Elga Wimmer PCC Gallery in the Chelsea Arts District.

Mitchel Gray is a photographer, videographer, and an author. He has to his credit two best selling books, The Lingerie Book and Lingerie Fantasies (St.Martins Press) and has illustrated many more, particularly in the active lifestyle/health and fitness field. 

He has photographed over sixty magazine covers, thousands of magazine pages and images  pages both in the fashion and beauty industry and the sports and fitness world, including Men’s Health (all editions), Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health Muscle (Germany), Muscle & Fitness, Runners World, Bicycling, Fitness, and The Sporting News, including hundreds of advertising pages for various clients around the globe. 

Much of his portrait work in recent years has focused on sports celebrities ranging from Tom Brady to Derek Jeter. His Fine Art work has been show in galleries in both the U.S. and Europe.

“I go into the shoot with one notion, and something else can occur. I leave the door open for something to happen,” Mitchel says. What will come through?

*Photographs courtesy of Mitchel Gray.

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