Mayhem # 571052
“DAEDALUS AND ARIADNE”: portrayed by Peter Allemano and Helen Allemano
Concept conceived by Peter Allemano; developed and executed by David Vance; photo taken in Miami, Florida on 2/8/13 (© David Vance 2013).
Quite possibly, ours is the first-ever illustration of the clandestine meeting, in Greek mythology, between Daedalus and Ariadne. Both characters are famous and have dramatic histories, and both have been the subjects of illustrations by many artists, over the centuries. But neither David Vance nor I — nor a professor of art history who was asked for her assistance — could locate any prior art that depicted these two characters together, at this intersection of their respective lives.
Our illustration depicts Ariadne, the princess of Crete, successfully persuading the master Athenian craftsman Daedalus — who lives in exile in King Minos’s court — to become her ally in a scheme against her father. Daedalus must know that, by giving Ariadne the magic ball of twine, he is likely to suffer unhappy consequences. Indeed, he does: his own son, Icarus, winds up dead. But Daedalus enters into the scheme with Ariadne anyway.
“DAEDALUS AND ICARUS”: portrayed by Peter Allemano and Andrew Aponick
When at last the work was done, the artist, waving his wings, found himself buoyed upward, and hung suspended, poising himself on the beaten air. He next equipped his son in the same manner and taught him how to fly, as a bird tempts her young ones from the lofty nest into the air. When all was prepared for flight he said, “Icarus, my son, I charge you to keep at a moderate height, for if you fly too low the damp will clog your wings, and if too high the heat will melt them. Keep near me and you will be safe.”
I had considered myself semi-retired from modeling for quite a while when I joined ModelMayhem in November 2007, and I did so as a dare to myself — and to celebrate my return to function subsequent to a catastrophic brain injury.
At the height of my professional modeling career, I had agency representation in eight countries. Most (but not all) of my work was in “commercial” print. I don’t know why (maybe I’ve got a so-called “honest face”), but I appeared in ads for more European banks — from Switzerland to Norway— than I can remember.
Just for the fun of it, I’ve posted two collages in my port with images from my youth. I hope you enjoy looking at them!
One image, as you’ll see, is from what I mischievously enjoy referring to as my “most glamorous” professional gig: a TV commercial for Nescafé, shot in Vienna aboard the world famous Orient-Express. But the train never left the station, the nighttime sky outside the dining car window was just a piece of black construction paper, and my beautiful female partner couldn’t speak English. Additionally, the tux was a rental, and — because the shot was only from the waist up — I dispensed with putting on the trousers and instead wore blue jeans (and sneakers too!). To top off all this “glamour,” at the end of the day I rode the subway home to my apartment like any other working bloke.
Since joining ModelMayhem, the focus of my modeling projects has rarely been “commercial.” Instead of trying to shoe-horn myself into a visual persona that will appeal to casting directors, I seek to collaborate in creating images that are (hopefully) beautiful, fun, sometimes a wee bit provocative — and that occasionally contain a dimension that is didactic. I’m having a blast!