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, 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.

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.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Polaroids from a San Francisco bathhouse 1978

A never-before-seen glimpse into pre-AIDS gay sexual culture goes on view June 12, 2010 at drkrm/gallery in celebration of Gay Pride Month.

The Fairoaks Project is an exhibit of Polaroid photographs taken by Frank Melleno during the spring and summer of 1978 at The Fairoaks Hotel, a San Francisco bathhouse.

Melleno’s images capture an aspect of gay life rarely seen in snapshot photography: sexually candid encounters that are playful, spontaneous and often affectionate. 

For more info visit: Drkrm/Gallery.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Male Nude: Maxalding

From Wikipedia, we learned that Maxalding is an exercise system of muscle control using a form of isometrics. Books and pamphlets teaching the system were first published in 1909 and continued until the late 1970s.

Maxick, real name Max Sick(!) was a German strongman. He was born in W├╝rttemberg on June 28, 1892 and moved to Britain in 1909, where he met Monte Saldo. The Maxalding principles are based mainly on exercises and techniques which appeared in his book 'Muscle Control', written in 1911.

Monte Saldo was the professional name of Alfred Montague Woollaston who was apprenticed to the great Eugen Sandow in 1897. He took this stage name at the turn of the 20th century while touring Europe. He was also an artist's model and in 1914 he published a book called 'How to Pose'. He provided the financial means of promoting Maxick's methods and starting the Maxalding postal course.

This is just one of several images up for auction on eBayAustralia. Auction ends soon!

And check out this video featuring Maxick, Edward Aston, Monte Saldo and Eugene Sandow (suggestion: turn down the volume).

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Male Nude: Sleeping Beauty

To sleep perchance to dream... of seven cute guys watching, waiting, and pouncing... More Belgian beauties inhabit this undated black and white photo.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bulging Belgians

This photo's one of my all-time favorites. It comes from Belgium although it is undated and there's not much you can tell from the lack of uniforms.

War may be hell but there are moments of male bonding that just make it all worthwhile dammit.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

2 Great Vintage Photos of Man Exercising

Hurry, these two photos, and a handful more, are currently available on eBay. See seller wolfchris or click here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

3 vintage photos of athletes

Short of giving him a cod piece, it's hard to see how a uniform could draw more attention to this football player's basket. Love the striped jersey too.

The back of this photo identifies the jock as Thurman Sanders, B.U.H.S. Basketball "34". Apparently this was when guys played lawn basketball. Whatever, he's sexy.

A bunch of nearly naked, sweaty athletes in the heat of competition. What's not to like?

Find these and lots more vintage gay photos at

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Male Model

"Don, a young man with a perfect body, found love where he least expected it, but Ted loved no one but himself -- and money!"

A French Line novel by Win Haven, published in 1967.

Haven't read it, never will. But the cover art! Can't get enough.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

PAJAMA photo of nude Tennessee Williams

Here's a rare find. Original PAJAMA (Paul Cadmus, Jared French, Margaret French) vintage gelatin silver print by Jared French (1905-1987) from the collection of Paul Cadmus (estate stamp to reverse).

A rare image of a nude Tennessee Williams (lower right) and Donald Windham to (upper left) dated 1943.
4 1/4" W x 6 1/2" H

You can bid on it now:

Auction closes 8PM EST Saturday Oct 24, 2009.