Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Men reign at Pixie Press Worldwide’s Company and About Face book launch party.

Pixie Press Worldwide Party - Los Angeles
Just before the fun began. Photograph by Dustin Neibauer.

Jason Lewis on the cover of About FaceDriving up Sunset, we could see the tent glowing purple on the rooftop of the London Hotel. The playful hue offered a welcome contrast to the stark white city lights that muted the night sky. It was a subtle, yet eye-catching beacon among the building-sized billboards screaming for attention along the boulevard.
Jason Lewis on the cover of About Face. Photograph by John Russo

The colors weren't the only thing that stepped softly while still making a powerful statement. The party, like their premiere luxury book release, About Face, stayed true to Pixie Press Worldwide's green publishing initiative. The company consulted with Verus Carbon Neutral to reforest an area in the U.S., therefore offsetting 100% of the event's carbon footprint.

I was lucky enough to score an invite to the party through a friend of mine, Rebecca Birney Frank, who is the Chief Creative Officer at the publishing house established by entrepreneur Jordana Woodland. I brought Shannon, who is a photographer himself.

The party did not disappoint. The rooftop offered a 360-degree view of the city and we enjoyed specialty cocktails (oh yes I did have that scrumptious pink martini) and hors d’oeuvres by chef Gordon Ramsay, and tunes by KCRW DJ Mathieu Schreyer. John Russo’s subjects from his book, or as I like to refer to them, some fine man candy, mingled with the more than 300 invite-only glitterati. In one part of the room Jason Lewis, best known for playing Smith on HBO's Sex and the City, pored over the pages of the book, of which his picture graces the cover. Decked in a suit, with blonde hair combed loosely back and just enough scruff, he looked gorgeous enough to rouse anyone's inner Samantha. Photographer John Russo signed a number of copies for VIP guests and a few that are currently on sale to the public.

Other stars came out to support the publisher and their charitable partner, Smile Train. They included Gilles Marini (Brothers & Sisters), Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy), Jesse Metcalfe (Desperate Housewives), Justin Chon (Twilight, New Moon), Daren Kagasoff (The Secret Life of The American Teenager), Sean Faris who recently appeared as an evildoer on "Vampire Diaries" and too many more to mention.

Alex Meraz and Ian Somerhalder in About Face
Actors Alex Meraz and Ian Somerhalder in About Face. Photographs by John Russo

What was particularly interesting is that Russo photographed many of these stars before their big break in Hollywood, capturing the pre-polished, raw, and not yet practiced for prime-time emotion of his subjects. Ryan Kwanten in About Face
For many, this was before they knew they were going to make it in an industry known for chewing up and spitting out those just like them who dare to dream. In Russo's subjects there's a mix of wonder, defiance, confidence and vulnerability, which paired with famous quotes make for a stirring, thought provoking collection. It's these men as you've never seen them before, and most likely how they never saw themselves. With their guard down and if only for the time it takes a shutter to click, allowing access.

Actor Ryan Kwanten in About Face. Photograph by John Russo

Russo shot the photographs with type 55 Polaroid film, now considered obsolete. And, he utilized only natural light. For more information on the limited-edition book or to order it online, go to Pixie Press Worldwide or Amazon.com.

For more information on Pixie Press Worldwide, and yes, they are accepting submissions and ideas for their next projects, go to Pixie Press Worldwide.

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