Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 23

With a side of man nips:

George Platt Lynes - self portrait 1940s

An alert blog visitor pointed out that the lead photograph on my April 13 post is a cropped version of a famous photograph by 
 George Platt Lynes. 
Too right. 
So here’s the full image (1952), and a bit of biography.

George Platt Lynes

The American fashion and commercial photographer George Platt Lynes (1907-1955) discreetly produced a large body of homoerotic images that he kept for himself or distributed to a carefully selected circle of friends. For many years after his death, it was thought that he had destroyed all his prints and negatives of male nudes, but it turns out that most of them had found their way into the archives of the Kinsey Institute (Indiana), which now possesses the largest collection of male nude photographs by Lynes to be found anywhere. 

During the 1930s, Lynes was commissioned as a fashion photographer for magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. After relocating from NYC to Los Angeles, he became Hollywood’s acclaimed celebrity portraitist. During this time he was also pursuing a personal body of black and white photographs of male nudes and homoerotic images that he kept private, fearing they would harm his reputation and business in a homophobic society. While his earlier nudes depicted idealized youthful bodies, such as a young Yul Brynner, he moved towards a rougher and more sexualized aesthetic in his later work. As a pioneer in masculine erotic photography, George Platt Lynes also helped forge Dr. Alfred Kinsey’s research on homosexuality.

Bill Miller (1953) by George Platt Lynes

Lynes was born in 1907 in East Orange, New Jersey, but a life-changing event came with his relocation to Paris in 1925, a move meant to prepare him for college. While in Paris he forged friendships among the artistic elite and was never seen without his camera. Once again stateside, he opened a photographic studio in NYC and began a private series of photographs that interpreted characters and stories from Greek mythology, but it was portraiture that brought financial stability. Today he is best known for his portraits of artists such as W.H. Auden, Jean Cocteau, Colette, Aldous Huxley, Igor Stravinsky and Thomas Mann. After he moved to Hollywood in 1946, he photographed Katharine Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, Gloria Swanson, and Orson Welles. In 1948 he moved back to NYC, where he remained until his early death from lung cancer in 1955.

Gordon Hansen (1954)

Robert McVoy by George Platt Lynes 

Lads in underwear:

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