Goodbye Weekend

15 July 2016
The joy of kicking off your shoes at the end of a long day and turning your switch from on to off is universal, unbeatable. Coming back to your personal sanctuary and slumping into a haven of satisfied exhaustion - this is what we call home. Home is wherever we feel safe and comfortable, but it's not static.
For models, walking the global runway and travelling from city to city, you pack up your comfort, sit on top of your suitcase to force the zip around it and hope it gets past airport security. You are launched into a world of unfamiliarity, from trying to squeeze your size elevens into a size nine shoe to sharing a flat with a group of boys you've never met before. Amongst the daze of nameless faces, searching through this haze of uncertainty, you long for the familiar and familial relaxation. Far away from home and even further from expectations, there is a mutual understanding between boys in such a unique lifestyle; strangers soon become friends and before you know it, you're holding hands with the unknown. As the flash of the camera is slowly fading from your eyelids and the lights of the runway are behind you for the day, you return to the bunkbed in your model flat (whatshisface already snoring below) with that recognisable relief. This is your retreat, your new home.
Sarah Charlie Benjamin documents Jonathan Bellini and Hart Denton at Wilhelmina Models LA in a perfect mixture between post-shoot chill and pre-show anticipation. Sarah's untouched photographs are true to form and true to the realities of the life of a model, as the boys adapt to the looming uncertainty of their new environment. As mid-morning light seeps through the dusky windows, the natural images are complimented by stylist Nina Chitadze's selections from R. SWIADER and Adidas, focussing on shape and comfort. Sarah and Nina lets Jonathan and Hart play around the model flat, whilst waiting for the next casting call from their agency. In slumbering tees and wide leg shorts, hailed in colours of light dusks and darkened palettes, Karenyna Michelle grooms the boys with the nonchalance of bed hair.
The daunting prospect that temporary living often suggests is countered by the informality and comfort that this series exudes. In this world of the modell boys, you never know what's around the next corner, and who you will wake up next to tomorrow. Away from the safety of your own home. What will you learn from your brief encounters? What man will it turn you into? It is a lifestyle that brings variety, an empathy of humanity and contracts of harmony between strangers. Quite poetic, even.

Words by Jonny Clowes.

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