I usually strive to create works more aligned with a classical master's works than to celebrate the edgier visions in some modern art. That being said.... I see nothing wrong in speaking artistically to any human experience as long as its approached with honesty and thoughtfulness. My subjects are as much actors as they are models. Much like a movie tells a story, my images attempt do that one frame at a time. The subjects allow themselves to live out a moment so it can be captured as art. As with "method acting" ... they allow a small part of themselves to actually "feel it" and that helps them to convey that felt reality into the work.
Capturing a tasteful, well designed photograph of human figures or sensuality is much more challenging than most would ever believe it to be. We humans are hardwired to understand each other visually, at a glance. We read infinitesimal nuances of expression and body language in real time. A camera captures that in even greater detail than our own eyes can. To have minutes, hours or even days to look at any image containing humans....it MUST be perceived as REAL. If there is a lie, a faked emotion, even a small shift in angle that alters the body language of it...the viewer tends to pick up on that and the artwork will not capture their belief or the empathy needed to view it as truth. Much like in the theater...the audience must be given the chance to "suspend their disbelief" in order to have them experience the work.
So this art is as vividly real as I can make it, first. Only after that Artistic Realism is achieved is there room for it to be taken into the surreal. Removing some of the person's genuine identity, altering the viewer's ability to "know them" and "who" they are as a specific individual, brings the work to a more generalized human place. The subjects are redacted to just their human essence, more inline with the "painted, drawn or sculpted" styles we typically see in artwork. The precise accuracy of the images is carefully "degraded" to the same levels that hand wrought art is "built up" to achieve. The subject may have started out being vividly "real" but the end results? No more real than any painted or drawn work is. However, staging the shot must begin so genuine that it can be read as recognizable reality. Failure to accomplish this and the photograph fails to trigger the viewer's empathy with it's human subject. To experience the art we must connect in a human way with the humans in the images. But we don't just walk up to touch other humans, especially strangers, without dire repercussions. These works are intended to let you truly connect with all your humanity. Not with the reserve necessary with an actual, "real" person but with the unabashed openness only possible with their "surreal" counterparts.