Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Male art: the hidden talent of the conch

October 14, 2022

(There will be discussion of penises and vaginas, some of it using street language, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Having discovered and posted about a vintage photograph of three young men displaying their swimmer’s bodies (which I bought and mounted on a bookend, to make a free-standing portable photo display), I was led by Etsy to other sources of somewhat similar photographs, in particular the trove of photographic male art offered by The Male Image Art Shop (dba TheMaleImageArtShop), among which this photo caught my eye:


(#1) “Dmitry and Matteo”, as advertised on-line: the more Slavic-looking bodybuilder type on the left is presumably Dmitry, and the more Mediterranean-looking swimmer type on the right Matteo; their gazes are fixed on us, the viewers, with no expression; Dmitry has a friendly, or perhaps a proprietary, arm on Matteo’s shoulder

Other than this, we know nothing. But we struggle to extract a story that it’s telling us, some story about the relationship between the two men (and possibly about why they’re posing for us), so we ask: when was this photo taken? where are they?  why are they naked? what are their lives like? what does that arm on the shoulder mean? is this photo a slice of these men’s lives, or are the men random male models posed to create a puzzle for us?

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Swimmer’s bodies

October 2, 2022

For a while last week, most googling I did in which men were involved brought me, as the top hit, an Etsy supplier of framed reproductions of vintage photos, offering this 1952 black and white photo featuring three male competitive swimmers with their trophies:


(#1) We know nothing more — where the picture was taken, who took it for what purpose, what competition they got those trophies in, what school or club they swam for; we wonder how their lives went on after this (if they’re still alive, they’re well into their 80s)

But there’s a lot to see in the photo. Especially in the young men’s facial expressions; in their general male body type, often labeled as swimmer’s body (even on men — underwear models, gay porn actors — who have no particular natatory associations); and in their bodies as engines for swimming as a sport. And also a lot to say about the passage of time since 1952.

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The character of a creature

September 5, 2022

… as explored in the playful animal artwork of photographer Yago Partal, available for inspection in his 2017 book Zoo Portraits and for sale from his on-line site. The book cover, which shows a panda character holding a portrait of a koala character:


(#1) The portraits are meant to bring out characteristic features of a creature — not, however, as abstractions, but as embodiments in highly individual animal personages, with their own personal names: Bao the giant panda, Cooper the koala

Yes, I’m playing with two senses of character. From NOAD:

noun character: 1 the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual: running away was not in keeping with her character. … 2 a person [AZ: perhaps, better a personage / a figure / an individual] in a novel, play, or movie: the author’s compassionate identification with his characters.

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The life she lived

July 29, 2022

First, a Google Alert on 7/27, leading to a notice for a gallery retrospective of Jill Zwicky’s photography, that notice in turn leading to an extraordinary obituary for the artist — not so much a death notice as a loving celebration of her life.

The notice, in “Out and about in Petaluma” (in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco) by the Petaluma Argus-Courier staff on 7/26/22:

Vibe Gallery opens a retrospective: The Photography of Jill Zwicky, from July 19-Aug. 3. The reception on July 30 is from 5-8 p.m. to celebrate Zwicky’s life and work, a photographer who died in 2020. [AZ: no, I can’t postpone the appositive modifier of Zwicky like that, any more than you can; it should be: to celebrate the life and work of Zwicky, a photographer who died in 2020]. She was a graphic artist who took up photography later in life, focusing on photographing nature. There will be refreshments and live music by David and Reed Fromer at the reception. Come celebrate Zwicky’s life and support Vibe Gallery

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Forty facial years

May 20, 2022

More precisely, 1958 through 1995, so not quite 40 years. For my face, in 8 shots, the last two providing more of my body as well. Today just the visuals, with little commentary, beyond locating the photos in time, place, and occasion. (My day was consumed by labors of an non-writerly sort. Not at all unpleasant, though mighty sweaty, but unexpectedly time-consuming.)

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Underwear model with tire

April 22, 2022

Today’s ad mailing from the Daily Jocks homowear company came with an artistic allusion (plus some fairly routine ad copy):


(#1) [ad copy:] 20% OFF – FETISHWEAR Welcome to The DailyJocks Backroom, from harnesses to wrestling suits, check out some of the most intimate products from your favourite brands including DJX, Nasty Pig & many more

It’s a grease monkey homage! To the Herb Ritts oeuvre, specifically to Fred with Tires, Hollywood 1984.

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LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS BLACK WOMEN

April 15, 2022

What I posted to Facebook on 4/8, on the occasion of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation as an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court. My follow-up said that, yes, the reference was to Agee (the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, on which more below) and added:

 I can’t begin to say how pleasing KBJ’s appointment is to me.

To amplify a bit. This is not the Promised Land, but it is nevertheless a Big Fucking Deal. One of the things about my hero John Lewis that moved me especially was that he truly believed that we could reach the Promised Land in this life (not in an afterlife on Jordan’s other bank) — just not in his life, it would take some time. [More below on Lewis and this astonishing bit of faith on his part.] Meanwhile [Lewis believed], we have to keep moving on the path. KBJ is a highly visible step on the path, and that’s a big thing, a moment of joy.

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Three men at play

April 13, 2022

(It’s actually about the art of photography, but showing men’s bodies and man-on-man sex and discussing these in street talk, so it’s not appropriate for kids or the sexually modest.)

The Falcon / Naked Sword store DVD sale ad of 4/9 offers an artful posing of three beautiful male bodies elegantly engaged in a sexual encounter, with their three weighty cocks arranged in counterpoint to the arrangement of the bodies. The ad, with the cocks and balls fuzzed out for WordPress modesty (the actual ad can be viewed in my AZBlogX posting of earlier today, “Three men, three cocks”).


(#1) Penectomized but still stunning: left to right, Jimmy Durano, Luke Milan, and Angel Rock in Alpine Wood Part 1 (Falcon Studios, released 5/15/14); Rock is about to give Durano a pre-fuck kiss; meanwhile, Milan (kneeling between the two standing men, his eyes closed in pleasure) is about to take Durano’s cock into his mouth

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VDay kisses

February 15, 2022

For Valentine’s Day, sexual (rather than social) kisses. And since this is my blog, male-male kisses, which have moved me since I was a child. The spurs being some male-male kisses recently in the news, plus a Daniel Mendelsohn piece in Out magazine, “Gay TV and Me: How my life would be different if boys were kissing boys onscreen 40 years ago — like they are today” on 9/20/12.

First, some boys kissing:


(#1) Cover photo for the YA (young adult) novel Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan (2013), a much-challenged book

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Hustle and trick: the cruise pose

February 10, 2022

(Note the title. Stud hustling and men tricking with men, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

The Daily Jocks ad in my e-mail on 2/7 reproduces the archetypical cruise pose, deployed in both hustling (for sale) and tricking, or hooking up (for play), by men for men:


(#1) [ad copy:]
NEW: UTILITY SHORTS
BE READY FOR ANYTHING
Everyday practicality with weekend style, your new favourite shorts have arrived at DailyJocks.

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