We knew about Alex Minsky. I mean, we had seen his photos and heard about his story. But when we received not one but two series of photos from him at the same time, shot by two different renowned photographers – Justin Monroe and Eric Schwabel – we decided to dig a bit deeper in Alex’ background. And we learned there was a story to tell here. And instead of doing it ourselves, we asked Alex to do it for us. And even though the questions we presented to Alex are not so new, the answers he gave and mostly how he gave them are the sparkle that shows the true character of this inspiring man.
Alex, welcome to BeautifulMag. In contrary to many other models, your journey has been quite exceptional. Let’s look a few years back. What made you decide to join the Marines?
Alex: Hey :) thanks for having me here and thanks for sharing my story in your magazine.
It really was not even a choice for me my mind was made up. When I was 18 years old I decided I wanted to join the military, and to me, the only choice was to join the Marine Corps.
Do you remember what went through your head when you were told you were going to be stationed in Afghanistan?
Alex: It was my job man. I knew I'd be going over seas when I joined, that never scared me or held me back at all.
When living your life in a warzone, probably taking every day as it came, did you have dreams of your future? Did you have a idea for yourself where you wanted to go in your life?
Alex: I was where I wanted to be. With my marines doing Marine Corps things.
Then one day disaster struck. Your truck hit an IED and you got injured. Severely. Can you tell us about this time in your life?
Alex: Crazy time in my life, and understandably so. But no man I'm sorry. I got hit in the head so hard that my body kind of went into "save me" mode and shut down. I was in a coma for 47 days. But I don't really have any memory at all of about 4 months.
Having seen pictures of you when you just joined the Marines, you have made quite a metamorphose. We are not just talking about the effect of the accident. You obviously embraced a passion for tattoos. What’s the story behind that?
Alex: Well I have had the passion to get covered in tattoos since I started getting them when I was 17. I had just been to busy with Marines stuff to get more than 4 or 5. But I always had that idea, to get completely blasted head to toe - ha ha. After I got out the chance came up to get a new one every single freaking week, so that's what I did. Every Tuesday. Bam bam getting’ tattooed.
Alex, you were scouted at a local gym. What went through your head when you were approached to model for Rufskin?
Alex: "What is this guy talking about?" And "this could be fun to try" – ha ha. That's it. Serious.
Since that first photography job you have become quite the icon and muse. How do you explain that?
Alex: I just share my story. Share what's going through my fxxked up head most days. And much to my amazement people like it. I think people like the fact that I'm just me being me most days. I have nothing to hide and hold nothing back. No shame.
In addition of being an inspiration for people with disabilities, you have also gathered a large gay fan base. How does that make you feel?
Alex: Love it. Love me some gay dudes.
You have worked with many photographers now, that all have very specific styles and that all must have offered specific experiences. One of them is Eric Schwabel, who has made name for himself as a celebrity and became quite a celebrity himself because of that. How did you experience your collaboration with him?
Alex: Yeah man, Eric is the bees knees :) <3 (He likes it when I do that, hearts and smiley faces - ha ha ha). I work with Eric often. We go well together I think. I've shot with him at least 6 or 7 times. All of which were very productive had good shots come out of it. I think so anyway.
We have seen you in many editorials and photographic series that vary from integer and classy to sexy and provocative. Is there anything you wouldn’t do?
Alex: That's kind of a personal question, don't you think? ☺ But no. Ha. There's nothing I wouldn't do. Keeping an open mind is very important to me.
What is next for Alex Minsky?
Alex: I'm going to Disneyland!! Just kidding I was just there like a month ago. Honestly, I don't know man. I'm keeping life simple at the moment. I'm taking each day as it comes. Really just trying not be to much of a knucklehead. –BM-
Optimist, Steampunk Cupid, Series of 3, Side A and Side B as well as Eric Schwabel’s portraits of Alex Minsky in the frame are available for purchase, with or without a personal signature from Alex Minsky. These prints alongside many other work from Eric Schwabel can be ordered at shop.schwabelstudio.com.
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