YASS Magazine breaks the boundaries of gender and invites Buster to a seductive game that intersects between art, freedom of expression and sexual liberation.
I grew up in suburban NY just outside of Queens as the youngest of a reasonably large family. I’m a college dropout and turned bartender and I now self identify as an artist. It’s a title I’ve apprehensively accepted for myself because my drawing skills are the absolute worst. I always put so much focus on the fact that I can’t draw or paint or sculpt that well so I must not be an artist but I’ve learned to grow beyond that limitation.
Photography is the first art form that I resonated with. I had my own personal projects but I also shot parties for an entertainment company in NYC. I loved it. I felt creative and artistic without having to draw or paint or shape something from my own memory. I studied more about lighting and portraiture and being an innately sexual creature I practiced a lot of self portraiture. I loved seeing high resolution, well lit photos of me in different poses but it wouldn’t be for a few more years before I let someone else photograph me.
I moved to Oakland, CA where I was working in restaurants, at the time assembling computers for work, and honing my photography and processing skills until one day I was hit by a car. I was on a bicycle with no helmet. I shattered my arm and I felt incredibly lucky to survive and still ambling around. In my lengthy recovery I more or less gave up on photography but my interest in being a subject remained.
When I was finally ready to jump further into modelling, the biggest challenge I faced was giving up control. In all my self-portraiture I could delete or manipulate the files as I pleased. Sometimes a photo just does not work out and you just trash it and move on. I had to remind myself that the photographer was also a respectable artist who had no interest in making me look silly..Thankfully my first experiences couldn’t have been more wonderful.
While visiting family in NY I basically cold-called every photographer whose style I liked on instagram and asked if they had any availability. After a lot of rescheduling or people cancelling I managed to hang onto a few appointments.I had a spectacular experience working with both Master Ming (@Kinkbaku.k) and Fwee (@fweecarter). On my last day in NYC I was introduced by a mutual friend to Joel Someone (@joelsomeonetramp) and we instantly hit it off. He brought me to Harlem and I got to meet another great artist named Kelly (@kellygrider). I felt like my little art family and network support system was quickly coming together.
The next step was getting to dip my toes into the LA art community. Joel Someone introduced me to Ryan Stanford (@ryanstanfordphotography) and we had some brainstorm sessions with some very bold and contemplative ideas. He has been instrumental in my path to forge an identity for Buster Rhodes and together we have created some very impressive visualisations.
For the future I hope to be a part of more high production shoots with avant-garde couture, I’d love to film more scenes with accredited studios and I intend to foster the relationships I have with my current art family.
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Twitter: https://twitter.com/blueeyedbuster ,
*all images are courtesy of Ryan Stanford Photography (https://www.instagram.com/ryanstanfordphotography/)