Friday, May 28, 2010

Artist Interview: David M Nienow

What is your name: David M. Nienow. Also known as “Glamour Dave” in the pool rooms that I find myself in, and “BB” among the group of model clients that I have worked the longest with over the years. When someone asks why I’m called “Glamour Dave” it is because when I am not making glamorous shots at the pool table, I am making glamorous shots of the world’s most beautiful women. And when I am asked about why models call me “BB” it is because I’m Big & Bad when it comes to protecting the interests of my model clients.

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist:
I have a B.S. degree in Political Science, but I have a great many art classes under my belt while I was going to college. So I do have some formal training in drawing, oil painting, air brushing, and sculpture. But when it comes to the photography that I do professionally, I am completely self-taught.

What is the style of your pieces: When it comes to my photography, I specialize in fitness, fashion, glamour & erotica. Style wise my first & foremost thought is to produce a quality sexy pin-up image. On occasion I also like to produce a more fantasy oriented themed pin-up image. An image that features a model in a medieval or warrior based kind of setting. Those fantasy based images that I create are derived from my life long admiration of certain fantasy artists such as Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Frank Frazetta. When it comes to my regular pin-up photography work I have to say that whatever my particular style is, it is continually influenced by my constant reviewing of particular pin-up artists, and fashion photographers.

Pin-up artists that influence me include Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas, George Petty, Patrick Nagel, Olivia De Beradinis. My fashion & glamour images are influenced by constantly studying the work of photographers like David LaChapelle, Richard Avedon, Antoine Verglas, Helmut Newton, Patrick Demarchlier, Greg Gorman, Stephen Wayda, Klinko & Indrani, & Chris Thomson. Bill Dobbins is an influence when it comes to my fitness oriented photography.

Other fine art & documentary photographers whose work I admire and study include Thomas Mangelsen, Steve McCurry, Douglas Kirkland, David Kennerly & Camille Seaman.

You can see that I have a wide range of influences when it comes to producing my own photographic images. But I feel that a good artist should always be open to as many outside influences as possible. Because in doing so, you keep your own idea generating machine in your brain active. Ideas just don’t come out of a vaccum.

What is the medium in which you work: Photography is my principal medium. These days I shoot digitally. I use a Canon 30D body with a combination of Canon & Sigma lenses. But I still hold onto my Canon film camera and will still shoot film on occasion. When I do shoot film it will be B&W film, of which I shoot selected Kodak films such as Plus-X 125, T-Max 400 & 3200. And when I can get my hands on It, I will also shoot Agfa Scala 200 B&W slide film.

I also do some graphic design work in support of my own photography & web business. I use Adobe Photoshop every day in editing my photos and doing my graphic design work. It’s taken me quite awhile to get used to the process of creating graphic design on a computer. In my college days, all my graphic design training was still done the traditional way. Using pencils, pens, rulers and paper. And to some degree I still miss that hands on feel of graphic design. But I feel that I have finally gotten a handle on the digital process. But like everything in this arena, this is an area that forever requires you to keep learning.

What started you on your path as an artist: I have always enjoyed art in some form even as a child. I was always drawing cars & cartoons as a kid. I can say that my artistic gene comes from my mother. She has a natural gift for drawing. But there are also some artistic genes coming through on my father’s side as well. I had a great aunt on my father’s line that was a great artist. So art is definitely in my blood. From junior high & onwards I was studying artists such as Leonardo DaVinci, Michaelangelo, M.C. Escher. In high school my parents were able to present to me a nice but used Nikon F3 camera system for Christmas. And up til I started college I did a lot of photography during that time. I spent a lot of time photographing my cousins during their BMX bike racing days. But once I started college the photography came to an end. I had to sell the equipment to cover college expenses. But I pursued other art classes to satisfy my artistic energies.

Once I graduated college however, all artistic energies came to an end while I pursued a career in computer sales. It was during that time that the Internet finally began to become something known to the general public. And once the first web browser was created, I decided that I wanted to learn how to create a web page. So I took it upon myself to learn HTML and began creating a series of fan pages devoted to some of my favorite models & actresses. As a result of that endeavor, it happened that one of the fitness models that I created a fan page around, Tara Caballero, found my page and contacted me by email. And once I was convinced that I was actually dealing with Tara she told me that she wanted to launch her own membership based website and asked me if I would design the site for her. From that point on I became Tara’s official webmaster. After her site was launched in December of 1999, a time came when we needed to produce some additional photo club sets for her members area, after her initial supply ran out that was used to launch her site.

I arranged to have Tara be shot by my best friend Jim Lindstrom who is a pro photographer in Las Vegas. During that photo shoot I acted as a shoot director. Tara decided that I had an “eye” for seeing things and encouraged me to get some camera gear so that I could photograph her. I did just that, and 3 months later I was shooting Tara in San Diego. The results of that shoot caused Tara to make me her official site photographer as well as her webmaster. Having Tara as both a web client & photo client then made it easier to be able to connect with other models in the fitness industry. From that point on I was able to arrange & shoot with other models. And since the models I was shooting were already recognized names in the fitness industry, it also made it easier to get my work published in industry magazines such as MuscleMag, Planet Muscle, and American Curves for Men.

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: Art for me is about being able to view the world in a different perspective. The art that I like to view is that which can amaze me with unique combinations of color & shape such as in well handcraft glass blown art pieces. And in art that can bring a sense of calmness & serenity through the capture of beauty in nature or of the human form. The nature photography of Thomas Mangelsen for example presents many examples of the most magnificent vistas to be found in nature. His images generate a sense of appreciation of what nature offers and in turn you intuitively learn & know that it needs to be protected.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: I love a well done painting in oil or done in airbrushing. My favorite painting subjects tend to be pin-up, automotive, western, & space oriented. Fantasy & sci-fi themed subjects are also a favorite. Bronze sculptures of human figure subjects. My favorite sculpture artist is Bill Mack. Blown glass is also a favorite area. I love the blown glass work of artist Chihully.

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like:
I have had the opportunity to participate in 2 group exhibitions. My first group showing was at Echo Gallery in Chicago, in 2005. And I just recently participated in a group exhibition at The Pin-Up Show that took place at Flash Gallery in Lakewood, Colorado, in February & March 2010. I am always on the lookout for new show opportunities. I submit my work regularly to galleries & contests.

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: As a photographer I do wear a photography vest by Domke while I am shooting. It allows me to keep extra lenses, film, filters & other accessories handy. At this point it’s getting pretty tattered and its almost time to get a new one. I will also sometimes wear protective pads over my knees & elbows. When I am shooting a model outdoors, I will sometimes fall to my knees to get a low angle shooting position. So the protective pads help to keep from getting bruised up while shooting. I also wear heavy duty leather hiking boots while shooting outdoors as well. I tend to find out of the way locations that require some hiking. During the winter months when I shoot outdoors, I use a heavy duty bomber jacket to keep warm & leather sheep lined gloves that I have also cut holes in for my shooting fingers to come through so that I can also easily still keep control of my camera.

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? Probably the same thing most artists experience, and that is getting proper exposure for the quality work that I produce. And being able to earn a decent income from the work that I produce.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: The 1st has to be the homemade sub sandwich that my father makes on occasion. They are to die for. The 2nd has to be the Teriyaki burger at Carl’s Jr.

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: This year has not brought any specific changes to my work specifically. But I am making a more concentrated effort this year at promoting my new line of limited edition posters & prints based from images in my archive. And to also get my work out & seen by more gallery owners & museums. And I am keeping to a regular schedule of getting my work into at least 2 or more photo contests each month. I have began to self publish my own magazine, The Fine Art of Glamour magazine, and a series of portfolio books.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: It’s impossible to list just one. I have a lot of favorites in different categories. DaVinci & Michaelangelo are my favorite renaissance artists. Boris Vallejo is my favorite fantasy artist. Vargas is my favorite classic pin-up artist. Patrick Nagel is my favorite modern pin-up artist. David LaChapelle is my favorite celebrity photographer. Thomas Mangelsen is my favorite nature photographer. Richard Avedon is my favorite fashion photographer.

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: In person, I have to say the glass art by Chihully that I have seen during my many visits to Las Vegas. Several of the casino’s have his work located in their facilities. You can never help but be amazed at what you are seeing when you see examples of his work.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: I have 2 cats. Ms. Pitty Pat & Gracie. They both see fit to try and assist me at my desk while I edit images and do my work. Gracie is a young cat and has yet to gain the necessary maturity to understand any art or how to appreciate it. Ms. Pitty Pat on the other hand is 13 yrs old and is a very mature feline. She deeply appreciates the photographic work that I do, and often gives me her feedback while assisting me at my desk.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us:
Currently I do not have any new exhibitions planned. However, I continue to promote my work to various galleries that are seeking artist submissions. If anything new does develop I will make note of it on my professional photography site & professional blog.

The Fine Art of Glamour –
Glamour Dave’s World –

I also have an auto racing documentary project site at:
The Fine Art of Racing –

I have a graphic design portfolio site at:
The Fine Art of Graphic Design –


If you are an artist and would like to be featured email

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