Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Frits bids farewll to his loyal servant

Later today, and perhaps already in the Netherlands, since it is now 7 am in WDC flickr contact Frits, at age 64 1/2, will undergo a circumcision - as a result of some recent problems he has developed with 'elasticity'.

Perhaps, a form of phimosis, it is not an uncommon condition for adult men.

Bidding farewell to his 'loyal servant' Frits recently took a series of NAKED TRUTH self-portraits which may be offensive to some. But, certainly, NOT TO ME.

His very personal and yet public tribute brought to mind a documentary project that I heard of, a few years ago, that photographs women going through the process of breast cancer.

Both are perfect examples of THE NAKED TRUTH. In his case, others may learn something about phimosis as well as alternative treatments. Which I had never heard of.

Best wishes to Frits for a quick recovery.

To learn more about Fritz visit his flickr profile. He's had a very interesting life and rich history.

Friday, May 04, 2007

NAKED TRUTH / John Carroll, One Year Ago Today

It was one year ago, today, that I photographed the artist John Carroll as the fifth subject of my ongoing documentary project, NAKED TRUTH.

Mark, Ken and Andy were the first three. If you don't include me. Jose was the fourth.

Though I had known of John for several years before it was during my two year probation period beginning in the fall of 1992 and lasting until the summer of 1995 that we crossed paths, in the rooms, at the Triangle Club. Which may shed light on why I photographed the 26 March 1994 GLBT NA/AA Sock Hop.

While he still is 'in the program', I am not.

When I moved to the Southwest Community from Capitol Hill in November 2001 we, of course would cross paths more often since he, too, lives in SW.

Having known each other from the Triangle Club, when crossing paths in SW, he sometimes has shared that he was heading to, or from, 'a meeting'.

Or en route to, or from, an evening artist group session at the Warehouse Complex on 7th Street. Or, the Corcoran School of Art where he poses, regularly, as a nude model.

And, on some occasions, he has also mentioned that he was then in the process of putting the final touches on an exhibit. Or, that his work was currently on display. It was during some of these brief conversations and interactions that I learned that, for many years, he has suffered from depression. Which may shed light on why 'the program' is so important to his daily life since it serves as a preventative safeguard against years of prescribed medication.

With a B.S in Speech and Communication from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale IL and an Associate Degree, in Art, from Parkland College in Champaign, IL, fifty something John Carroll regards himself as a self-taught artist who was inspired by and studied from the art of his mother, grandmother and a great aunt.

His mission statement reads "To show through my art, my love of the human form. To aid others in seeing live between men can be loving and caring. To share my own journey as I continue to heal from broken promises and dreams to serenity and comfort with being gay".

From 1978 through 1995 John Carroll received several awards from the Chevy Chase Art Festival and Montgomery County Fair in pastel and acrylic, drawing, photography, acrylic and watercolor.

In 1990, one of his acrylic paintings, "Arms" was donated to the University of Illinois.

Here is a brief list of when and where some of his work has been exhibited:

2005 Tiber Island Artists - Group Show
2004 MOCA Gallery - Georgetown
2003 SOHO Tea and Coffee Shop
2003 Cyber STOP Cafe - One Man Show
2002 Artists in Cellophane - sold magnets
1999 Gay Pride - TAG (Triangle Arts Group) of Washington DC
1994 Triangle Club 1993 - Cafe Luna - Restaurant Show
1969 Urbana Art and Craft Show

During our 5 May 2006 NAKED TRUTH photo interview session John informed me that he also that in addition to a sleeping disorder he snorls so loud that the neighbors can hear him. And, therefore, sleeps with a device that controls his breathing and snoring. Both conditions may be the result or side-afffects of medication that he takes for depression.

I told John that my ex-lover, Greg, who I had a relationship with from February 1982 until his passing in August 1995 also had a snoring disorder. And, that when he and I shared a house on Morningside Lane in Alexandria, Michael and Smitty could hear him snoring from our bedroom which at the opposite ends of the house. And when Greg and I moved to Capitol Hill on 15th Street in SE WDC, I could hear him, in my back bedroom, from his front bedroom.

Like many artists, John's work not only represents expressions of his personal struggles and perspectives but also, serves as a form of therapy in dealing his depression. As he "... takes it one day at a time ...!"

While drawing, painting, photography and, of course, 'the program' are intricate parts of his daily routine, in the process of working on commissioned pieces, John Carroll is also developing a book about gay men.

John Carroll's web presence is at and youtube. Contact John Carroll at

Too bad both my digital cameras are in for repair. Since I was hoping to revisit John today, which is the one year anniversary of our first installment for the purpose of conducting a second installment of my ongoing NAKED TRUTH: John Carroll project.

Not unlike John Carroll whose artistic expressions represent therapeutic means by which he deals with his depression my photography and writings represent my weapon against racism. And oppression, as opposed to depression!