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BRUNO GMÜNDER


FOREWORD The moment you land in the Dominican Republic you are immediately met with beauty. Not the typical aesthetics of what most Americans and Europeans contend as beauty: airbrushed, whitewashed, waterdowned versions of beauty. But an awestruck beauty that is untainted, pure, and natural: fresh with no preservatives. It’s that goodfor-you type of natural essence direct from mother earth that sustains you. And it’s the Dominican people, the black, brown, and yellow-hued people who inhabit the island. Especially the men.

deeper into their abyss. They are happy and laughing despite the island’s poverty, shanty communities, and other limited resources. It’s as if they know a secret. A secret you want to uncover and also share. They know life. They experience it in ways that make them determined, powerful, and prideful. They use what they have, meager and small, large and great, and turn them into viable assets. Dominican people are resilient.

Why wouldn’t they be? The backdrop gives way to sunny clear blue skies resting vibrant hues of pink, orange, red, white, and blue They greet you with friendly faces molded onto the ancient buildings, and rusting to perfection, bodies built like an Adonis, rooftop shanty-type homes that lay on crafted and sculpted as if God purposely top of one another. The country’s tropical took special attention to mold the mud surroundings are filled with swaying green and clay to form every aspect of their being palm trees. The fresh scent of sea water— from the top of their heads to the balls of comingled with fresh coffee, rum, and the their feet. Dominican spices and herbs that flavor the chicken, pork, fish, bread, rice, and beans— Muscles, natural and defined. fills the air and tickles your nose. The expansive sky dances over the Caribbean Skin, rich and smooth. Kissed by the Sea, and as far as the eye can gaze there Caribbean sun. Bronze, golden, chocolate, is nothing but clear blue water wrapping, caramel, and café au lait. stretching, and bending, rustling at the island’s shores. It’s as if God personally Eyes, piercing yet inviting. made this a dipping pool, a fountain just for the Dominican people. Hands, strong yet delicate. The Dominican Republic is one of the most The essence of Dominican men oozes beautiful and exotic place on earth. Many with pure sexual heat and desire. They are travelers from Europe, Australia, France, consciously aware of their prowess and Germany, Spain, and the United States find sexuality. They have no problem displaying themselves traversing to the island’s hot their deserving arrogance. When they walk spots of Santo Domingo, Santiago, Puerto into a room, the air sits around them and Plata, and Punta Canta. waits for them to take a breath. However, on the outskirts and nestled in No matter where you go you can’t escape the crevices far in the countryside and offthe beauty of the men wrangling you the-beaten track, there are places which


are foreign to tourists. Hidden under the troughs of fields, hills, and mountains are the most beautiful Dominican men living out of sight of the city limits, and, like their fellow city brethren, they have been Godcrafted. Untouched. Innocent. They inhabit rural countryside communities such as Bano, Barahona, Los Patos, Las Salinas, Haina, San Cristobal, and Guayacanes.

Yes, the following images will fill you with a yearning desire to not only venture to the country, but to seek and take in the beauty all around you. You will want to grasp and hold this beauty, making it your own. That’s natural. Below the surface of the land, hills, and mountains of the island is the true grit of their foundation. From the dirt, mud, air, water, and spirit of the Dominican Republic these men have been brought forth. No, My good friend Ernest was not only they’ve been called forth. Gracing the able to venture into these non-visited earth with their presence, like princes and communities, but he was able to immerse kings. The following pages are the scent of himself into the culture and lives of these foreplay and fantasy becoming powerful men. He has the amazing ability to shed aphrodisiacs. his own lens of American-ness beauty aesthetics and reimagine a new lens filled Through the eyes of Ernest and his with exotic images that electrifies your powerful lens that understands what it soul, tingles your skin, and makes every means to be young, Dominican, gifted, molecule in your body rapidly rush, giving smart, and beautiful, we are invited into a you sensations you’ve never felt before. spatial coexistence that purifies the soul, intensifies your senses, and allows you Ernest has captured something powerful to travel in a world—their world of rare and unique in his pictures. His keen eye places, of stately guises of Dominican men and sharp wit have allowed him to harness ready to make their appearance. Out of the these Dominican men in their natural periphery of dark crevices, the underbelly environment and unsuspecting glory of holy of hills and mountains, and the countryside beauty, using their natural environment of shadows they rise and are situated in the of landscapes of green palm trees, white center of the margins of unmistaken beauty sanded beaches, and rustic buildings to tell redefined, reimagined, and reclaimed! They a story. Their stories. tell their stories not only of who they are, but of a country rich and bountiful. These images do more than exhibit and showcase Dominican male bodies. They Simply close your eyes, breathe, and let your give them a voice. Visibility. And an mind drift into another world. Fantasies opportunity for the world to be invited into oftentimes do come true. their lives, allowing us to imagine, wonder, and consider how beauty is designed. How Terrance Dean it is created. Smart-fully crafted. And, above Author/writer all else, how it shapes itself in refined places February 2014 defying time and space.


Las Salinas Dominican Republic


Trankilo


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