DRIVEN BY A RESTLESS MOTHER WHO HAD HER MIND SET UPON A CAREER IN SHOW BUSINESS, ROSE LOUISE HOVICK. AT AGE 15, LOUISE’S MOTHER FORCED HER ON STAGE TO FILL IN FOR A STAR STIPPER DURING A BURLESQUE THEATER SHOW. HAVING STAGE EXPEREINCE SINCE SHE WAS 5, LOUISE CAPTURED HER NEWLY FOUND AUDIENCE WITH A PERFORMANCE THAT WAS MORE TEASE THAN STRIP. LOUISE CHANGED HER NAME TO GYPSY ROSE LEE AND, HAVING FOUND HER CALLING, MADE A HUGE CAREER IN BURLESQUE CABARET THAT BROUGT HER TO HIGH SOCIETY BALLS AND EVENTUALLY TRANSFORMED HER IN A SHOW BY HERSELF: THE HIGHLY POPULAR MUSICAL GYPSY.
"This is no secret garden.
As it grows
And gladiolas, cheek by jowel.
Eyes follow hoe and trowel
As he moves them to and fro.
This garden has a secret, though,
Shielded from view.
The lovliest bud of all,
Is reserved only for a few." - Aaron Cobbett -
The floral district in Manhattan, NYC is a surprisingly lush area occupies only one block between the Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue and stretches itself like a true secret garden. This is the place Aaron Cobbett recently visited to escape the aftermath of the long brutal New York winter and cherish the first signs of a beautiful spring. Surrounded by the rich foliage, and still having the amazing life story of Gypsy Rose Lee that he recently had read fresh in his mind, Aaron was struck by inspiration. What if he could shoot s series of portraits that would be both a hommage to the legendary burlesque dancer and the colorful awakening of Spring.
Surrounded by green plants and fresh cut blooms, Aaron Cobbett couldn’t help seeing a similarity between his current colorful environment and Gypsy Rose Lee’s style of mixing prose and stripping. In his head Aaron started to visualize his concept. A flamboyant personality that rises from a kaleidoscopic composition of flowers, accompanied by a touching poem. And while visualizing Aaron could only think about one person bold enough to pull this off: Chase Hostler.
Chase Hostler is one of New York City’s most known go-go boys and nightlife personalities. His ever changing personality, his naughty, boyish looks and his dauntless attitude made him in Aaron Cobbett’s eyes the perfect personification of Gypsy Rose. Chase is becoming more and more known in the universe of fashion and art photographers and is a well-sought after model thanks to his never-tiring efforts in adapting himself to every situation and setting. He charms you by giving a lot and intrigues you because you know there is still a lot hidden. And so it came to happen that Aaron Cobbett sat down composing his poem, while in his mind working out the design for his shooting with Chase. And the result is this stunning set of photographs, perfect within the tiniest detail, starring Chase Hostler among the rich spring foliage like a true artist’s muse. And it seems that on the day of creation, both Aaron Cobbett and Chase Hostler felt the whispering touch of Gyspy Rose’s spirit. –BM-
AARON COBBETT | BEAUTIFULMAG
CHASE HOSTLER | BEAUTIFULMAG