- Tom- Tom
When I first began making photographs, I aimed to fill a gap – to show what had not (widely) been shown. When it came to the male nude and / or gay life, the gap was cavernous. Today the Internet provides countless thousands of images to fill that huge hole. And many of those images are wonderful. I revisit my early photos to see where I am in this story before the explosion of erotic imagery.
I find many images from the very first rolls of 35 mm film I shot to be both beautiful and instructive. The shoot recorded here was made about 1980, contemporaneous with the making of my Polaroids. These photos are rare. I shot fewer than two-dozen rolls of 35mm film with a small $60 plastic Hanimex back then. I bought it as an inexpensive toy, one that might produce reference material for my drawings. But I find arresting images in these early efforts, more so perhaps because they are naive.
I found great classic beauty in a number of my friends back then. Peter is a fine example of a man with a natural body that inspired Greek artists to take hammer and chisel to marble. These pictures of Peter were made in the Pines one day at my pool and in my bedroom. I’d painted my room black because it was a place to have sex. The naked body looked amazing in this context.
The friends I photographed back then were comfortable with their sexual energy. I was fortunate that they shared that with me. The idea of the male nude as art – even with erections and high levels of sexual charge – was still new territory. I wanted my images to be “real”. I never considered hiring “models” to pose. This is just us – horny guys on a greyish hazy day in the Pines with an afternoon free and some tension to release.
I also found one Polaroid I made that day with Peter.
In combination with chapters from current shoots, I now begin a series in the Members Archive section to explore the breadth of my black and white work from the beginning on.
Members Link | Archives | Chapter 42