- Tom- Tom
The last time you saw these pictures they were in a box and being assembled in binders. Last week Ben and I sent the first draft layout of the new book to our editor in New York. The book is due out next spring, published by Damiani. We’re glad to give our site readers and friends a first look at a few draft double page spreads. The final book will contain around 350 images spread over 212 pages.
The book will take the reader to the Pines in the years before AIDS when we were young and up for the celebration of our freedom in a world of our own invention. The first page spread above contains three iconic images exemplifying the Pines fame for gorgeous men. The first two pictures were taken at my first home on Pine Walk and the third at my last home on Sky Walk.
The spread above takes you around the island from the beach to the boards to lounging around the house. The Pines is a beautiful place where being naked was natural. Obviously, that circumstance formed and fueled my interest as a figurative artist. Most of the structures in the Pines are built of cedar and float above the shifting sand bar, on stilts. They formed the stage on which we acted out our karmic plays – the stories of our romances, our friendships, our parties and our intimate lives.
The book is a personal diary told in the form of a visual poem. In this spread I take you to the beach where I ran into a friend who’d spelled my name in suntan lotion on his abs – a ploy that ensured his inclusion in this book. I also introduce my buddy / playmate, Harold Gates, slipping off his tangerine suit – always up for getting naked to play with me and my camera. The Pines was a dreamlike mythical place. I fell in love with the Pines and with the men I met there. In these years we were defiantly learning to play and love at the edges of a culture that condemned us. So much of that life was lost in the plague, this book brings that time and those friends back to life.