Marked Men


The Center for Sex and Culture, San Francisco's unique sexuality education center, library and archive, headed by Dr. Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence, has become my fiscal sponsor so I can raise funds to produce a photo book, "Marked Men", the working title for a monograph of my photographs. The Center for Sex and Culture is a 501c3 non-profit so all donations to this project are tax deductible.

This important piece of gay art and gay sexual history will include two bodies of vintage black and white gay radical sex photographs, "the dream of my youth is dead but I can't stop dreaming" 1997-1998 and "Bad Boys on Parade - portraits on the verge of the new millennium" 1999.  They are also the last photographic work that I will likely ever do with negative film resulting in black and white fine art silver prints.  It is the end of the century, the end of 20+ years of struggle and work and the end of a dream.

In some ways, these two series are cut from the same cloth, but at the same time, they are as different as they can be. They both focus on gay men, eroticism, leathersex, bodies and sexuality. Visually they have similar tonal schemes and psychologically they are both explorations into the sexual psyche.  These portraits are at once rooted in a specific time and place, yet universal in the yearnings of the human spirit.
 


"the dream of my youth is dead but I can't stop dreaming" 1997-1998

to view a complete gallery of these images, please click on the above link
 

The sexual portraits in "the dream of my youth..." are laconic, sexual, wry and humorous meditations on sex, life and love. Added to that mix is the harsh reality that life is filled with a terrible beauty.  While images with text have a long established photographic tradition, I've always believed that the image itself must say everything that needs to be said.  But with these images, the text takes on an importance, equal to that of the image, adding additional information often not obvious just by looking at the image forcing the viewer to reinterpret their initial viewing of the image. The words beat to a sexual pulse with their own special kind of musical poetry.

Without the text to illuminate these images, it is unlikely that I would ever show many of these images.  These portraits are specific moments from my life, yet they speak to universal themes about connection, interaction and the complexity of ecstasy in the very late 1900s.  They also challenge standard fine art portraiture questioning the notion that photographs and portraits in particular by their very nature are honest depictions of reality.  These images with text suggest what isn't said, what remains invisible and hidden, even in the best photographic portraits.



"Bad Boys on Parade - portraits on the verge of the new millennium"
1999
to view a complete gallery of these images, please click on the above link
 

    

The sexual portraits in "Bad Boys on Parade....," on the other hand, are unabashed declarations of pride, self acceptance and flat out desire. After so many years of loss, grief, pain and emotional devastation, the sexual cycles of gay men finally came full circle as the new millennium approached.  There is also an edge of sexual excess in some of these portraits.  You might even call it desperate desire.  These images have no text other than their titles. The images themselves say everything that needs to be said.


Books give images life. Having gone through multiple fires and earthquakes, I know how easily everything can be taken away. I owe it to the men and women in these images to give them life beyond life, so that they can't be ignored, marginalized or made invisible as if they never existed. I am looking for angels who understand the importance and value of books and the impact that these images could have on the world.