100 Creatives 2012: Richard Tallent (semi-NSFW)
What He Does: Richard Tallent is a Beaumont-based photographer who specializes in a stunning array of artistic nudes, though he does some non-nude work for specially commissioned clients such as previous 100 Creatives subject Scarlett S. Vitus. His pictures show off the beauty of the female form in a huge variety of settings, including a series of truly brilliant underwater portraits that blur the lines between conventional motion and light.
As a programmer in his day job, Tallent thinks in pixels, and film never interested him. Digital photography gave him the range and ability to pursue his art in 2006, splitting his time between Paris- and Houston-based alternative modeling scenes, including corsetry models courtesy of Mr. Sinched.
Though he enjoyed fashion photography, co-coordinating hair and make-up required too much time, models were hard to come by, and finding an avenue to publish his work was difficult. Working in nudes eliminated many of the hassles and has since become his primary focus.
Why He Likes It: "I love photographing the human figure, playing with light and shadow, and working with art models from all walks of life," said Tallent. He also gets a kick out of seeing his work in magazines and especially at the one local art show he's been featured in. "There's nothing like seeing actual prints hanging on walls and watching people explore the space and take them in."
What Inspires Him: "I'm predictable -- the old masters are my biggest influence. This started with Cartier-Bresson and Doisneau when I was doing candids, then cross-over photographers like Newton and Ritts, and then finally people like Weston, Bernhard and Woodman, who set the standard for art nude photography.
"But I find inspiration everywhere I can -- music, people, nature, literature, dance, science, faith and other genres of visual art. I think it's important to avoid the echo chambers of artists just like you. No one creates ex nihilo, but when Picasso said that 'great artists steal,' I don't think he meant shallow imitation. I think he meant finding ideas outside your genre, grokking them, distilling their essence and synthesizing them into your own work.
If Not This, Then What: Quick, what's the opposite of photography? It's playing in an indie garage band, isn't it? Well, not according to Tallent, who finds the two artistic outlets similar in the nature of their components' collaboration and the possible lack of commercial viability despite material being personally meaningful.
If Not Here, Then Where: "I can't complain! Beaumont gives me easy access to Austin, Houston and New Orleans, and there are a lot of talented artists and models right on my doorstep.
"Otherwise, Paris has been my favorite by far. It was the playground for many of the photographers I was inspired by. San Francisco is a close second. I'm also fascinated by the crumbling, Soviet-era architecture of Eastern Europe; I'd love to work there someday."
What's Next: Tallent is submitting work to competitions, and is seeking more gallery openings. You can see more of his work, and the lovely ladies that are his subjects, here. Definitely NSFW.
More Creatives for 2012
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Viswa Subbaraman, opera director
Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist
Sonja Roesch, gallery owner
Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor
Sandy Ewen, musician
Camella Clements, puppeteer
Wade Wilson, gallery owner
Magid Salmi, photographer
Carl Williams, playwright