Reviews of Heroics II
The Unique Gifts Of Paul Freeman
Grady Harp, Hall Of Fame Reviewer
For those who have followed the artistry of Australian master photographer Paul Freeman since his initial photographic monograph BONDI CLASSIC in 2003 - and have watched his continuously evolving to a point where art and art history have become a significant aspect of his vision, this book will be a high mark. The concept of melding the art of the ancients with the present began with the 2011 publication of HEROICS, now a best selling photographic essay on the influence of adornment of men in battle depicted in public art from the Greeks to the present. HEROICS II offers an extension of the same concept but this collection of images tends to thaw those frozen moments of ancient art within contemporary settings.
Somehow (and the secret must be very well kept!) Freeman finds the world's most handsome and hunky men as his models. Could it be that Australia has the corner on such perfect specimens? At any rate Paul Freeman finds the best of the best and every one of his series of books is worthy of medals and awards. Men as men enjoying their bodies and their camaraderie, clothed, unclothed, alone, together, with animals, watering holes and other natural interventions. The books (and the men) are always magnificent. But having mastered photography of the sensual male nude and remaining at the top of the heap of his fellow colleagues, Freeman is taking fascinating steps in another direction: the men are there and equally perfect, but now they sport historic elements from that to Freeman have significance - helmets, shields, breastplates, hats from newer heroes, chains and other bits of armour that serve to enhance the virility of the subjects and to honour tradition.
Paul Freeman is a master of composition, of skillful and consummate lighting effects, and of bringing to our eyes a collection of extraordinary men in magnificent black and white and full color photographs that are as fine as any artist's work today. Highly recommended. August, 2013
Incredible New Photographic Journey
Heroics II is a stronger, more confident work than the first Heroics instalment; a celebration of masculine strength in its' many guises. The author pays homage to historical representations of masculine heroism through visual appropriations of ancient gladiators, medieval warriors, Regency soldiers and modern seamen.. the men involved are completely naked save for battle paraphernalia such as swords, armour...models are historically appropriate, bearded, unshaven and with natural body hair. For those who enjoy presentations of males in their most natural and beautiful state, it just doesn't get better than this.
The work also draws on the witty, satirical tone evidenced in volume one so that, for example, nude models in classical poses are placed in incongruous settings such as a graffiti ravaged urban playgrounds. A number of the images are definitely provocative, and challenge the viewer to ponder just what it all means.. the contemplation proves a most enjoyable one!
Models are stunningly presented, and are included in greater number in Heroics II than in any other Freeman work. Many of the models from the first Heroics book make a welcome reprise and, invariably, create an even stronger impression. The photos of several models are incandescent in their erotic intensity. Other models include both beautiful newcomers and models from previous Freeman works. All are presented in such a way as to both challenge and gratify the reader. The work itself takes on the heroic quality it seeks to pay homage to through its celebration of the naked form, challenging the conservatism and homophobia that are increasingly evident in Australian social and cultural practices.
The view that Freeman is the best photographer of the male nude anywhere in the universe may well be rejected by dissenters as hyperbole, but if they took the trouble to engage with his latest work, they may well be convinced as to the validity of the assertion. Hugely recommended. August, 2013
Paul Freeman is one of the greatest photographers of the male nude!!! His recent release is both exquisite in its design as well as its subjects. His models are breathtaking, beautiful specimens of the male species. His pictures are crisp; erotic, artful and memorizing. I look forward to each and everyone of his creations!!! August, 2013
True Gods Of The Stadium
A magnificent achievement. One of the best photo books ever created! The laurel wreath to Paul Freeman. He earned it.. October, 2013
Paul Freeman Is An Artist Behind The Camera
Paul Freeman's photographs continually show an artist who understands that nudes can be captured in subtle, beautiful images without having to be exploited for titillating reasons only. His photographs will stand the test of time for artistic merit. October, 2013