A Whole Lot of Blackness

In one of those moments of lassitude, I came across a set of steamy new visuals by Kelly Rowland. This did not come as a surprise. A few days before the video came to surface, she ostensively mentioned via twitter the release of her new video dubbed, "Motivation" featuring Weezy (who by the way, is on the April cover of Interview. He was interviewed by Paris Hilton. You already know how that went down). Ms. Rowland has parted ways from trio Destiny Child's years ago, but the sultry, vixen mantra is still looming over her persona. Sex sells, and Ms. Rowland knows that. She injected all these notions of sexuality in Motivation, that at times comes off as a soft-porn flick.

The video takes place at a foggy abandoned warehouse, where Ms. Rowland seductively walks across the hall, imposing her presence, wearing a purple frilly swimsuit under a long cardigan. She's not alone. She's accompanied by a bevy of chocolate shirtless dancers and models, who bare a perfectly sculpted physique. We later see Ms. Rowland wearing what seems to be a shredded macrame dress over a fishnet bodysuit. When fashion suppose to further express one's own identity, this look muddled it. But I don't think it hindered the outcome of the original idea. In one scene, Kelly's hands appear from behind a shirtless dancer and blatantly starts groping his beefy body (this is eye candy to the 100th power). In another instance, she's holding on to a dancer's belt while he's withering along with her. Their bodies come to a synchronized move that suggests sexual tension. This sex factor reached its climax, when one model is pushed against a wall, and a male model is portentously standing in front of her. His right arm is not on the shot, but it suggests that he's grabbing her privates. But then the camera slowly lowers and we can see she's wearing men's boxers. In one group shot, this could certainly be confused as an orgy in its beginning stages (I hope I'm not setting myself up here). At this point I can't fathom how this video made it on mid-day national television. 

After the video came to a conclusion, I couldn't help but to associate its resemblance to an Interview editorial published back in May of last year (see below). The fashion story, shot by Mikael Jansson and styled by Karl Templer, gave much fodder to discuss. The photographs portray a clutch of diaphoretic black models (this is what I call "glamorous sweat") caressing Polish model Daria Werbowy in a mysteriously-litted, smoke-filled mechanic studio. Evidently, Daria's light pigmentation against a black body of mass makes a stark contrast. This contrast of white and black lead to a flood of accusations of racism. I never though of Jansson and Templer as racists, hence they worked with black models before, and celebrated their beautiful skin tone. Perhaps, that was the idea of the story; make the Versace gown stand out, at the risk of portraying black models as fashion "accessories". I don't think it was intentionally done, but I comprehend why some people felt offended. They now have Lil' Wayne on the cover of the April issue. Not as an attempt to seek forgiveness from the world, but as a manifestation of culture diversity. 

This alleged racism that the photographs portray did not lead me to link these two forms of art. But I was more intrigued at how both, the video and the editorial boast raw sexual tension within its subjects. I don't know if Kelly was imbued by Jansson's pictures, but it's clear that both forms share similarities in attitude, setting and dialogue.  If you take a look at the entire editorial, and ponder for a minute what is unfolding in the story, one could easily see the locales, and how they're precisely illuminated in order to give off a mysterious, almost underground vibe, that they are not too far from each other. They both display wet, dingy floors, deteriorated furniture, and accoutrements you could only find at an specific place. In addition, the lascivious attitude of the models in the editorial, and talented dancers in Motivation further intensifies the nonchalance, romance, and sex so unabashedly presented in both forms. It's also important to note this non-verbal dialogue between subjects that can be read through body language in sexual suggestive pelvic thrusts, dalliance, and the manner in which they interact. In short, they both ooze sex. 

Karl Templer is a seasoned editor and one of the best in the business. What he does for Interview Magazine you won't find nowhere else. Once again, these shots (click on the link provided above so you know what I'm talking about) exemplifies his adept abilities to conceptualize a story. The Interview pictures you could see there is a fashion dialogue going on. It's certainly better edited and stylized than Kelly's video. However, though, they're both so rich visually appealing and entertaining enough that it sorts of makes you want to be there, absorbing all kinds of artistry in motion, or even if it's just for eye-candy purposes. 


Andrés Corella said...

The video is so hot! I thought they would ban it to the late hours..but anyways..Love kelly!

The Black Label

Tenesa The Artisan said...

I saw this video, and I LOVED it! Its so ridiculously sexy! Fans get to see another side of Kelly that we haven't seen before!


Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

Cheap Men Suits said...

Fascinating and steamy fashion photography, can't take my eyes off the photograph. I want to make my own statement, but I want the people wear plaid suits because they're warm to look at.

charles said...



loveletters said...

love the connect to the editorial. pretty cool...

Jimmy De La Cruz said...