- Tom- Tom
In my sexually lonely childhood, I discovered little twenty-five cent physique magazines – guys naked but for a few square inches of posing strap fabric. Some of the men who pioneered those images of men went to jail for it. I consider them heroes as well as patron saints for being who they were. They faced down the American Gestapo and fought for the rights of gay men to talk about and look at what the Free Speech clause of the Constitution guarantees. John Palatinus – (Pala-teen-us) was one of those men who told the boy I was that I was not alone in my desires. I’m happy now to see John’s work on Gallery walls – in Hollywood at the Antebellum Gallery and in Palm Springs at the Savage Gallery.
John’s price for pursuing his passion for men and photography was an arrest, a night in jail, the confiscation of his work, and the end of his career. The article about his arrest was displayed on the gallery wall. It demonstrates the insane and exaggerated threat America perceived in men loving men.
John is an amazingly vibrant man – we should all mature with energy like his. He’s as playful now as his images were a half-century ago. He is an inspiration to live a smiling life.
John’s Palm Springs opening was a huge success. The audience included men who knew the work from their childhoods – perhaps it was their first whack off material after the men’s underwear section of the Sears catalog – to younger men curious to know the cultural history of the world we created for ourselves. We met Mark – one of the playful guys John invited to provide some real flesh among the photos. Mark will have a shoot of his own in 2012 at TomBianchi.com.
John’s signature work is the shot of the elegant body on the stool in the center of this installation. We had a delightful dinner with John and his friend Bernd who is arranging shows of John’s work all around the world. The next day, we noticed that we had the same stool John used for his poster image and so we paid homage to that image by making our own version of it to give him at his opening. (Actually, we went a quite a bit further than John could have gone in his time :-) Those images are reserved for a Journal at the members area of TomBianchi.com.
$250 limited edition prints the size you see on the walls are available for sale at Savage Gallery – contact: PaintingsbySavage.com. I chose this one of Linn Wickizer shot in 1956 in Indiana for my collection of vintage physique photographs. Being a Midwesterner from this era – I still love those All- American heartland boys. And the crew-cut? Priceless.