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Brutal Truth Hardcover – March 1, 2011
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More About the Author
A former record label A&R executive and talent scout for over twenty years, Alago earned the respect of the industry for his expertise in a wide variety of musical genres. In addition to discovering Metallica he also signed White Zombie, Alan Vega, Johnny Rotten (with his band Public Image, Ltd.), Michael Feinstein and Nina Simone, for whom he executive produced her critically acclaimed final album "A Single Woman."
Alago left the music business in 2003 to focus on his parallel lifelong passion-photography-initially picking up a Polaroid camera and embarking on an ongoing series of erotically charged portraits, which he continues to this day.
Now equipped with a variety of cameras, and an eye for muscle-bound, tattooed roughnecks Alago shoots friends, models, bodybuilders set against the gritty, urbane backdrop that is New York City. In Beautiful Imperfections, as in Brutal Truth, it's Alago's juxtapositioning of tough vs tender, nature vs grafitti--that makes for the sweet, yet palatably salty eyecandy that has made Alago's photographs instantly recognized by fans worldwide.
Alago's first photo book, a collection entitled Rough Gods, was published in 2005. Night Blooming Jasmine Will Never Smell The Same, a collaborative book of poems, observations and rants with Life of Agony singer Keith Caputo was published in 2010. Most recently, 2011 brought the bam in-your-face sexy Brutal Truth.
As an independent consultant, Alago most recently teamed up with old friend Cyndi Lauper on her Grammy-nominated album, Memphis Blues, on which he served as A&R executive.
Top Customer Reviews
Alago doesn't flinch from suggestive poses nor does he try to coat the images with fake innocence. These photographs are of raw, sweaty, hungry hunters who challenge the viewer - and then once the seduction has past, seem to have a finely honed sense of humor in their purpose. One aspect that makes his work so interesting page after page is his insertion of brief poems (it is not certain whether these are written by Caputo or Alago), and of pages of flowers and flowering trees. At times he places the calla lilies in the arms of one of his supposed brutes and the contrast is dramatic, and fun!
Michael Alago uses the underbelly of New York City as his stage and the moods he manages to convey surpass those of other artists not completely committed to their visions. This is raw, rough, and proudly blatant masochism. Alago knows exactly what he is doing, what he wants, and is able to produce his visions. He is a man of many talents - talent scout, producer, writer and photographer who has been in integral part of the careers of people such as Nina Simone, Johnny Rotten, and Cyndi Lauper among others. But even with a first class resume and an imaginative mind, the most prominent aspect of his work is his honesty. This is a very powerful collection of rough trade. Grady Harp, March 2011