“Rm. XIV” is a collection of selfies assembled into a picturesque and sensual coffee table book. The shots aren’t selfies taken with Starbucks cups, or smiles where the tongue is pinched between teeth. Rather, they’re artistic portraits shot in hotel rooms, composed in color as well as black and white. The photo subject and photographer? Mark MacKillop, a New York-based actor who says the book is a personal project, the journalling of a road trip, and the documentation of personal growth.
He was traveling internationally with 30 other cast members and a 30-piece orchestra, making stops in major European and Israeli cities. They were performing “West Side Story” and Mark had been cast in the role of Riff. He admits that he starting things off on the wrong foot with the rest of the cast. He said some things that came from a place of insecurity, and subsequently, realized he needed a change.
“I started this photo series as a way for me to connect with friends at home, to give them an intimate look at living on the road,” Mark MacKillop said. “This process ended up becoming quite healing and helped break down some of the walls I had created.”
Taken on an iPhone, the book includes more than 80 of Mark MacKillop’s self portraits. They’re lonely and sensual, showing Mark in very little clothing. As a series, the shots capture the ephemeral, almost serene emptiness you could only feel when traveling.
During the months he was traveling for “West Side Story,” Mark shared select selfies across social media platforms. It was at the requests of his fans and followers that he compile the shots into a more concrete collection. It opened the door to “Rm. XIV,” and Mark MacKillop’s gorgeous stills are all the invitation we need to enter. The book is accompanied with a foreword by Robert W. Richards, an artist who recently curated the Leslie-Lohman Museum’s exhibition of 20th-Century erotic illustrations.
Also, a portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS.
Check out the gallery below for a taste of what is behind the door to “Rm. XIV.” Did you happen to catch Mark MacKillop on stage in his role as Riff? Are you planning on making his book the center piece of your coffee table? Let us know in the comments below, or by tweeting us @underwearexpert.
Photo Credit: Mark MacKillop
Video Credit: Mark MacKillop