Vartivar on Flickr.
I noticed this wonderful looking man, Vartivar Kirikinan, standing in the afternoon light. I asked him to step forward a bit and he complied immedietly. Afterwards we exchanged introductions and information and parted ways with a smile and a handshake. He was the highlight of my day. Downtown LA, 4/18/2014
Well…there was no getting around this one. Here is my portrait. But because this was mine we did some fun things. This is guest edited by Darieus Legg and my write-up was done by Alexis Mixter. I cannot thank them both enough for their help here. There may also be a directors cut version of this portrait coming in the next few weeks due to the large amount of sake used during its creation.
With that, here is Alexis Mixter:
When I was about eleven years old I moved to a new town and came across another gawky soul that reminded me of myself. I had no idea at the time why I was so drawn to this person but I knew I was fascinated. Life happened, he changed schools, we grew up, moved away from our home town. Twenty years went by and we lived full, exciting, difficult, emotional lives apart; sometimes separated by thousands and thousands of miles. Then, one day, the universe decided that the roads we were traveling down should converge again, and it was a blessing.
Aaron is a passionate inspiring soul who will get under your skin and into the deepest parts of you without you even knowing it. You will feel lucky even after you realize what happened and how deep he actually got. He can invite you to lunch and you won’t know you were being interviewed until hours after the check has been paid. Every question he asks, every intense thoughtful look he gives you, every arm he puts around your shoulder or smile he shines your way is genuine and it is yours alone. He is a human who is genuinely interested in the human condition and if you are in front of him he is genuinely interested in you.
Aaron is a wanderer and an explorer, both through the physical world as well as through the souls and minds of those that cross his path. He has helped all of us around him see ourselves more clearly as the intense, dazzling, strong and unique people we all are. He will make you laugh till you cry and then he will buy you a drink and get you to spill out all your fears and deep loves and he will really listen. Somewhere inside that he will casually and quietly point his camera in your direction and snap a very quick, very quiet photo of your soul and the world will become a tiny bit bigger, brighter and more wonderful because he froze that tiny bit of you forever.
I met TJ Lubey when we were both 18 years old. Every day of my life has, since that time, been enriched simply by knowing him. He is without a doubt one of the very small circle of men who have helped to shape and guide me through this life and it has been my privilege to grow and learn alongside him. He is brilliant, hilarious, introspective and fun. His ability to connect with and communicate to people is as astounding as it is elegant and effortless. TJ is the first person you want to call with news, either good or bad. Perhaps the single greatest testament to the beautiful human being TJ has grown into is that at his bachelor party I had the privilege of meeting a dozen other men who’s lives TJ has touched with his wonderful ability to be generous, loyal, and above all, kind. These men, and I am proud to count myself among them, represent the life’s work of an extraordinary human being. May you all be so lucky to have a single friend like mine.