Monday, September 02, 2013


Check out the upcoming exhibition at Au Bonheur du Jour gallery in Paris. It includes about 200 works (photographs, paintings and drawings) from the 19th century to the present.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2 Great Vintage Photos of Men Together

Recently sold on eBay (seller tonyvogrig) these two photos show men together in such a relaxed and unselfconscious way, even while wearing a tutu!

I'm assuming that picture is from some sort of theatrical production?

I find the photo of four men particularly appealing as they seem to melt into each other, and the composition becomes all about the hands and especially the fingers.

Of course there's nothing "gay" about any of it, except from our perspective and modern rules as to how "real men" are supposed to relate to one another physically.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Boys of Pleasure: Paris 1860 to 1960

A new, limited edition book and exhibition at Galerie au Bonheur du Jour in Paris explores the underworld of male prostitution in Paris.

With a whopping 376 pages and 335 illustrations, it includes unique documents from the Archives of the Prefecture of Police revealing myriad facets of a sensual underground world that until now has remained largely unknown.

You'll discover the different locales of these masculine pleasures: from the Hotel Marigny to the brothel of Saïd, from bars to formal balls, from parks to public urinals, through the torrid atmosphere of steam baths.

Nicole Canet reveals all: sailors and soldiers, kept 'boys of pleasure' and their pimps, intimate sex games, and a living tableaux of sadomasochism.

The exhibition runs from 12 September to 27 October 2012 at Galerie au Bonheur du Jour

Reserve your copy of the book here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sex Education in the 1930s.

Magic Lantern Slides have been around since the 17th century. Seems to have been, in this case, an educational tool to accompany a sex education lecture.

These two amazing examples from the 1930s survive. That "Human Speciman" is fine by me!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Metamorphosis of a Butterfly

The paper cutting artworks of Xiyadie (pronounced Zhee-yá-dee) are now on display in a exhibition titled: “Metamorphosis of a Butterfly: A Kaleidoscopic Vision of Life by a Gay Chinese Artist.”

Xiyadie’s art is grounded in the traditional Chinese paper cutting technique traced back to Cai Lun (ca. 50 AD – 121) who, interestingly, served as a court eunuch. But in terms of subject matter, it’s revolutionary.

While Xiyaide was winning awards and gaining recognition (in 2008 the government printed postage stamps of his work) he was also discovering his own sexuality. Learning the meaning of his attraction to men and finding a gay community online, he eventually made same-sex love the dominant subject of his work. 

“My artwork is really about the desire for freedom,” Xiyadie said. “I call myself Xiyadie, or ‘Siberian Butterfly,” he continued. “In Chinese, it expresses hope and my wish for freedom in a cold and harsh environment.” 

Because of its homoerotic content the artist’s work has been prohibited from public display in China.

It’s easy to see why the authorities consider this work subversive but from our point of view it is pretty tame stuff. It is not so much shocking as humorous and filled with “joie-de-vivre.”

In terms of technique it brings to mind two Western artists: Kara Walker’s cut-paper silhouettes and Matisse’s paper cut-outs. But Xiyaide’s primary intention is to delight and bring joy to the viewer.

On that level they truly succeed.

The exhibition was organized by The Center Long Beach and alternative fine art gallery, Flazh!Alley Art Studio, San Pedro after a trip by Ján Montoya (a TCLB Board Member) to the Beijing LGBT Center.

When I tried to check out the Beijing LGBT Center website I got this message:

Warning: Something's Not Right Here! contains malware.

One might reasonably speculate that the Chinese government is monitoring the site (the only LGBT Center in China). 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Art and Sex on the Piers

Shelley Seccombe, Two Men on a Bridge, Pier 45, 1978
In the 1970s and early 1980s, the enormous, abandoned piers along the Hudson River at the edge of Greenwich Village were appropriated by gay men. Lots of them. They came to meet, sunbathe, cruise, have sex, and make art. Sounds like gay heaven right?

In Gordon Matta- Clark’s words, the piers were a site of “interest, fascination and value.” But with the sexual adventure came risk. Many of the men who played there were soon to succumb to AIDS. The piers have long-since been demolished.

Artists like Vito Acconci, Gordon Matta-Clark, Peter Hujar and David Wojnarowicz found inspiration in these ruins along the river. The fascinating show at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art includes over 70 works of art that capture this brief but significant moment in gay history.

Leonard Fink, Tava Mural Pier 46, 1980, silver gelatin print
For me, the show's standouts include the small black and white photos by Leonard Fink. They combine a psychological intensity, aesthetic drama and sexual tension that made the piers so attractive and inspiring to so many gay artists.

Kudos to curators Jonathan Weinberg and Darren Jones for putting this together and we look forward to your upcoming book!

If you're in NYC it is well worth the trip to Soho to check it out.
Exhibition ends Friday July 6th 2012. Visit for more info.

Leonard Fink, Pier 48 Interior, 1980, silver gelatin print courtesy of the LGBT Community Center National History Archive

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New at His Brother Love

His Brother Love, a Satan Press Book by Russ Trainer, 1965.

Great cover art by Bilbrew.

"And all the characters churn together to answer the important question: what is the direction of heterosexuality while the pull of the homosexual exerts its overpowering force!"

Monday, November 28, 2011

The New

We're happy to announce our new site has launched in time for Cyber Monday! Please visit where you can find a growing collection of authentic vintage photos, magazines, and books for sale.

Today only, get 20% off your purchase!
Enter coupon code: cybermonday when you check out.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Don & Tony's 10 Anniversary Celebration, May 11, 1980

A limited edition poster by Neon Cactus in Santa Monica documents the highlights in their relationship: parties, travel, campaigns, family, friends, protests, celebrations, blowjobs, etc.

From a handwritten note (Don to Tony) on their 1st anniversary:

One year ago this night I was looking for someone to share the evening with me. The person I found (in the Mayfair parking lot) was you. And since that night we have been together. Our friendship grew, our love for one another grew; our faith in God also grew. One year, it's like a one year old baby -- and now our relationship must mature...

From a handwritten note (Don to Tony) on their 2nd anniversary:

The Red Tailed Hawk is a symbol of our love. Society or our culture tries to prevent it from maturing, and being lovers we also stand somewhat alone among the majority of gays. Yet as the cover [photo] shows the light from God- Nature- the gift of living will keep our love and [our] dreams grow every stronger.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gay Pride: Remembering Don Amador

One of the lesser-known gay heroes from the 1970's, Don Amador's life story might make a film rival to "Milk." In fact, Amador briefly appears in the movie, played by his friend, activist Cleve Jones.

Of course the big difference between Milk and Amador is Milk was actually elected to public office and, after his assassination, became a gay martyr. Amador failed to achieve his political ambitions and like many thousands of gay men, died of AIDS-related illness in the 1980s.

But in the late 1970s Amador was a big deal. Most of what I've been able to find out about him comes from a People Magazine profile from 1977. Born Donald Grace in 1941, considered a "sissy," he quit high school to join the Navy. After an honorable discharge he spent a year living in a monastery and converted to Catholicism.

In 1965 he reenlisted as a Navy recruiter and served under Chief Richard J. Amador. In 1971, Richard Amador (age 70) legally adopted Donald (age 28). This was one year after Amador "married" his lover, Tony Karnes, on the steps of Hollywood's Blessed Sacrament Church (they weren't permitted inside).

Amador served as L.A. mayor Tom Bradley's liaison to the gay community and became one of the first people to teach a class on Gay History (at Cal State University, 1976).

So that's the People Magazine version. A more intimate look at Don Amador and his spouse is coming shortly. Meanwhile, the photo above by Pat Rocco of them (on the left) with a group of friends, taken in 1979 at the March on Washington (Have you ever seen so many moustaches in one place?)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

George Platt Lynes vintage photo at auction

George Platt Lynes (American, 1907 - 1955). "Tattoos".
For those of you who always wanted to own a Platt Lynes photo bidding starts at just $300. Auction ends June 20th, 2010.

Good luck!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Showing of Man Bobbs

Just to acknowledge that a) not every man in 1960 had a perfect body and b) not every eBay seller can spell "boobs."

More Bulging Belgian Beefcake

Great vintage body builder c. 1910 in a classic pose. This real photo postcard is currently available on eBay, priced at $69.69.

Friday, May 21, 2010

One Man in a Tub

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sleeping Beauty 2

It's not hard to understand why somebody would take a picture of this beautiful man lying nearly naked, asleep on his bed. I can't help but wonder who took the photo? Was it the guy's mother? Was it a straight roommate thinking this'll be good for a laugh? Or was it a case of unrequited love (lust)... the buddy who longed to lay down on top of this perfect specimen-- but knew such a thing could never happen.

We'll never know but it resonates for me and speaks of my own experience as a closeted gay kid. Hell, I didn't even know I was "gay." I just knew that, when I saw a man like this I couldn't take my eyes off him. And if I was lucky enough to be able to get a picture of him without getting caught, I'd sure do it.

This snapshot was sold for $77 (a lot for a snapshot, very little for a fantasy) by Tanquerochicago.

Man Shaving

He's obviously just gone for a swim. Now he stands on a rocky beach, still dripping wet, baggy shorts clinging to his thigh, lathered up, and along comes somebody with a camera.