By Tom Peaks @MrPeaksNValleys
NOTE: Photos below are exclusive, never published before images shot by Hans Fahrmeyer on July 1, 2013.
Sometimes I think Chris Campanioni must wear a red cape! Perhaps he’s the result of a successful sexy laboratory cloning experiment! There’s got to be a secret here because this man simply does it all!! How does he find the time? He models…he works in academia…he is an award-winning novelist and poet…and he edits for various publications. Furthermore, Chris has also been a newspaper reporter in Newark and San Francisco and acted in small parts on two different daytime dramas (“All My Children,” “One Life to Live”). You also may have caught Chris on news programs like “Today” and “The View.”
Born a native New Yorker, Chris arrived prematurely 2 months and 2 days early on April 17, 1985. Raised in New Jersey, he is first-generation Cuban and Polish-American. Chris received his Bachelor of Arts at Lehigh University and a Master of Arts from Fordham University in 2013, where he graduated summa cum laude while studying English Literature.
But, it was back in 2007 when the 6’1” tall, hazel-eyed, dark blonde talent became involved in modeling. On a lark, he accompanied a friend to an open call in New York. At the time, Chris said he was simply bored and curious about the industry. His first “gig” was with underwear manufacturer, C-IN2, with whom he has had a long and fruitful relationship. In fact, Chris says C-IN2 is “like family.” His first big shoot was an editorial shot in the Hamptons for Cosmopolitan called “Sex & Desire.” Chris has never been shy about sexy, provocative work and says he does not identify with personal embarrassment.
Chris says the requirement for achieving modeling success is that you need to continuously perform and adapt for very different roles and circumstances. Thus, he was well prepared for his breakthrough event that came in 2009 when he was DNA Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” He appeared on the cover, a spread and an interview in that issue. The steamy images blew up social media. At the same time, he was acting and working as a print journalist.
Chris never kept his modeling-career exploits a secret; in fact, he managed to merge that career with his journalism endeavors and later incorporate it into his teaching and literary careers. Chris has paved a path where art, news and celebrity culture meet, and says students and fellow professors aren’t that surprised at his skill sets, “Reinvention,” he says, “is a new cultural norm for this generation.”
As college was winding down in 2013, Chris’ literary career was heating up! In “Going Down,” Chris had a splash debut with his first novel. In fact, it was chosen as Best First Book at the 2014 International Latino Book Awards. We certainly give it our 5-star ranking at PnV. “Going Down” is often lauded for his realistic portrayal of the newsroom and the fashion industry; while the book is fiction, it’s loosely based on events in Chris’ modeling and journalism career. The exciting story depicts a protagonist, Chris Selden, who spirals out of control as he is consumed by media, commodities, and fashion.
In 2014, Chris published his first collection of poems, “In Conversation.” His entry, “Billboards,” which responds to Latino stereotypes and mutable—and often unmuted—identity in the fashion world was awarded an Academy of American Poets Prize. Later that year, he published a second collection of poems called “Once in a Lifetime.”
In 2015, Chris wrote his second novel, “Tourist Trap (or: How I Paid My Way Through Grad School).” In this thriller, Chris explores tourism, culture, and terrorism through the lens of new journalism and historic fiction. Chris’ wit and love of language jump off every page as well as his manipulation of rhythm and pacing in his storytelling. The book was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
In the fall of 2016, Chris published his third and most recent novel, “The Death of Art.” It dissects post-capitalists, post-internet, post-death culture. The book looks at our ability and affinity to be both disembodied and tethered to technology, allowing us to be in several places at once and nowhere at all.
You can find recent writings from Chris appearing in such publications as Ambit, RHINO, Public Pool, Handsome and The Brooklyn Rail. Chris is also an editor for PANK, At Large and Tupelo Quarterly. Currently residing in Brooklyn, he teaches literature and writing at Pace University and Baruch College.
The featured photos in this article are from Hans Fahrmeyer with Chris attired in Piasaa underwear. Chris recalled this 2013 shoot, “Hans is very easy to work with; I remember shooting these photos in a warehouse in the Bronx with hardly any lighting or equipment and a strict time schedule. There was quite a lot to get through but we worked fast and well…and everything was easy because Hans is a great communicator.”
Chris continued, “We didn’t want to be too posey, which made it a lot more fun for me. In general, I like any campaign where less is more and Piasaa, which is an urban, street-wise underwear company, wanted less attitude and something that appealed to more of an urban mind-set and audience. Edgy, but not trying too hard at trying for it.”
For more on model Chris Campanioni:
Chris’ books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Campanioni/e/B00EYLKV4G
Check out more work by photographer Hans Fahrmeyer:
Follow Hans’ work on Tumblr: http://hans4257.tumblr.com
You can also find Hans on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HansFahrmeyer
You can order Hans most recent book, WATER MOVES, on Amazon at: