Nadia Cthulhu for '(not) Naked with Masks' by Ben Hopper
My musician performer friend Tom Baker had a fantastic Cthulhu mask made for him by another prop-maker mutual friend Aste Amundsen. He used this mask for a character in a burlesque routine he'd perform as a cabaret host. It was at a nightclub called The Last Days of Decadence in East London. During this time, I used to be the club's in-house photographer.
I told Tom I was working on a new photo series called 'Naked with Masks', where I photograph naked people wearing masks. I asked if I could borrow his mask for a photo shoot and he agreed.
My friend Nadia was the model, and since Tom often used the mask for work, we had to pick it up at the club after he finished his set, still wet from his sweat.
On our way home, we tried several locations across London. When we got off the bus outside the shared apartment I used to live in, we decided to try a few photos at the bus stop.
We used the light of a bus stop and waited for the road to be clear of cars. In this photo, Nadia was flashing her lower private parts as I was trying to decide on the best position for the final image. It was taken at 4:19am. The final photograph that ended up as part of 'Naked with Masks' was photographed at the exact same spot, 3 minutes later.
A month on, the final nude picture was exhibited along with 9 others at ACT ART, a London group exhibition with strong sexual queer & gay-oriented works. The theme was Censorship, and that was the beginning of 'Naked with Masks'.
June 5, 2010. Brondesbury Park, London, UK.