Photography by Brian Riley
In 2006 a friend suggested to me that I take a moment out of what I portrayed as a busy artistic life and look closely at what I was doing. From his outside perspective he could see, reflected in my actions, that the path I was choosing may not be the most advantageous. He suggested I take a Yoga class.... Begrudgingly I agreed, and one early Spring afternoon I walked from my studio on Franklin St. up Broadway to Jivamukti Yoga. That day changed my life. It was in that first Yoga class where something in me shifted. That evening I put down the wine glass, threw out the cigarettes and began a change. Over the course of the next few weeks all areas of my life continued to shift.
In my photography studio where I was working on a series of male nudes; a project that had been going for close to 2 years, I began to see in the images I was editing an energy I had not noticed before. It was as if an invisible layer inside the image was revealing itself to me. This got the nerd in me fired up. What is this energy? What is this something that I could sense but not see?
Enter the above friend again with another suggestion... this time he asked me to photograph a friend of his, a Yogi visiting from Mexico, I agreed. When Marcos arrived at my studio we had an instantaneous rapport and spent many hours talking and photographing. When he left something magic happened, his energy stayed behind. I did not know if it was inside of me, inside of the studio, or inside of the photographs we took, but it was there.
Needing to understand what was happening I began to investigate ways I may broaden my understanding of energy, the body, Yoga and myself. Two weeks later I was enrolled to study massage therapy at The Swedish Institute. There I found my self, the path to an intimate understanding of energy, Kundalini Yoga, the power of touch and a desire to share my ever evolving understanding of energetics with the men of my community.
That was over 11 years ago, the friend has unfortunately drifted away on his own journey, his influence remains with me today. This gallery is a rare selection of photographs from the above mentioned series in dedication to him and all the beautiful men I have worked with.
Photography by Brian Riley, limited edition prints are available, contact for details