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“The camera can represent flesh so superbly that, if I dared, I would never photograph a figure without asking that figure to take its clothes off.” ~George Bernard Shaw

This is an abridged sample version of our printed book. Copying any portion is a violation of copyright. Please visit for links to buy a physical copy or purchase an e-book from This abridged version is missing many pages and contains watermarks to protect the misuse of the artists’ images. The back of this book gives the addresses of all the artists should you wish to see more of their work or make a purchase.


Volume 1 Summer 2013 Editor E. Gibbons Art Historian Grady Harp Copy Editor Paul Rybarczyk Layout, Design, Production E. Gibbons Photography Consultant David Jarrett Design Consultants Dana Ranning, Paul Rybarczyk Publisher Firehouse Publishing ISBN-10: 098386229X ISBN-13: 978-0-9838622-9-1 Information: Vitruvian Lens is a quarterly journal founded in 2013,, produced by Subscriptions: Please visit for the most current pricing, store locations, and subscription information once available. For questions, please e-mail or call 609-298-3742. Price is subject to change without notification. Submissions: Vitruvian Lens considers submissions of artists and writers. Contact, subject “V.L. Submission,” for additional information. Advertising: For advertising rates, wholesale bulk pricing, and other information, Distribution: Online through our website For information e-mail Printing: Published quarterly in spring, summer, autumn, and winter by Firehouse Publishing, headquartered at 8 Walnut Street, Bordentown, NJ 08505. © 2013 by Firehouse Publishing and Firehouse Gallery. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without the express consent of Firehouse Publishing, Firehouse Gallery, and its owner, E. Gibbons. Important Disclaimer: No assumptions should be made about the gender or sexuality of any artist included in this book. Though all of the artists dedicate a significant portion of their portfolio to the classical male form, they are equally adept in other subjects as well. If you see something you’d like to purchase, contact the artist directly. Right: Ed Freeman, Untitled 7 (cropped to fit) 1995 Cover: Nectario Karolos Papazacharias, Legraina, 2010 Rear Cover: Ren Hang, Untitled 4, 2011 (digitally altered & cropped)


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Introduction: Does the world need another male-focused photo book? For thousands of years, the male figure has been the cornerstone of fine art, but in the last hundred years it has been shoved in the proverbial closet as too potent, erotic, and gay. The male nude is even shunned by the gatekeepers of museums: curators who themselves are often gay. It is perplexing; it is as if they do not want to be guilty of appearing to promote some “gay agenda,” when what is really needed is balance.

Though we know much of our readership may be gay, we recognize others enjoy figurative art as well. Many publishers assume that lovers of the male figure like their theatre dramatic, their fashion fabulous, and their art explicit. It’s a pendulum that is either closeted or semen-soaked. Consider what is available for male focused photography: porn, slick fashion, pin-ups, and muscle worship magazines. Very little middle ground exists to showcase the work of those artists and photographers courageous enough to focus on the male figure in a classical way.

Charles Leslie, co-founder of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art says, “It was no accident that when MOMA mounted the exhaustive Warhol retrospective it included nearly everything except Warhol's explicitly homosexual series of seven, high-impact works titled Sex Parts. Sex Parts should have been included in any serious overview of his oeuvre. The absence of the series was deliberate. Our worst enemies in the world of gay graphic and plastic arts are gay men in power positions in the worlds of art criticism and arts institutions. They spend inordinate amounts of time and energy covering their asses protecting their careers and status.”

Happily we have decided to fill this cultural void with publications like The Art of Man, Powerfully Beautiful, 100 Artists of the Male Figure, Eros & Adonis, and now Vitruvian Lens. We strive to put content over pedigree in our selection process. To promote the work of artists—at no cost to them— who are brave enough to dedicate a significant portion of their portfolio to the male figure. We encourage our readers to contact us with websites and artists we should consider for future editions, and hope they in turn support the artists with words of encouragement, or even a purchase. Their chosen contact information is included in every interview.

But with the loosening of puritanical mores, balance is slowly returning to some segments of the art world. In 2012, the first gay art museum, The LeslieLohman, was established in New York. Sadly, at the same time, the traveling gay art exhibition Hide and Seek, curated by Jonathan Kaz, had pieces removed during its exhibition at the Smithsonian. Two steps forward, one step back.

It should be said thought that no assumptions about gender or sexuality should be made about any artist included in this book. Though all of the artists dedicate a significant portion of their portfolio to the classical male form, they are equally adept in other subjects as well. Sexuality is not a litmus test. We thank you for your acquisition of this premier edition of Vitruvian Lens, and hope we bring a little joy, sensuality, and art into your life.

Many “gay publishers,” like Bruno Gmuender, do promote the male figure, but they do so by pushing porn, and giving little representation to the nonerotic. Certainly Gmuender will give a page or two for a classical approach, but the very next page is a cartoon with a hard-on. It’s uncomfortably jarring.

Thank You So Much! Firehouse Publications

Left: Woltman, Stepping In, digital photograph, 8 x 12 in. 2012




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Nectario Karolos Papazacharias is from Athens Greece, and, though growing up in a middle class family, his parents realized his special interest in arts. At a very young age he studied music (has a diploma in accordion and piano) and painting. He went to art school to study photography, and was a news photographer for a time, but soon he realized his passion went deeper than just recording images, so he started working as an assistant to Vangelis Kyris, a photographer and artist, important both in Greece and internationally. After learning a lot and gaining some important experience, Nectario Karolos took a five year break through 2009 to “find himself.” He now works primarily in the fashion industry.

personal than that. Probably it’s my need to capture beauty, strength, lust, and youth… all those things together.

Vitruvian Lens: Why is the male form a significant part of your work? Nectario Karolos Papazacharias: It happened by chance, one thing led to another, and suddenly for a long period most of my shoots were about male figures, probably because I could work more easily with a guy than a girl. Men need less preparation to do a shoot.

Papazacharias, Legraina, 2010

VL: What is it about your approach that sets your work apart from other photographers of the male figure? NKP: I haven’t really thought about this; it is not about the naked body for sure, it is more

VL: Do you see a change in the acceptance of the male figure as subject? NKP: The internet really helped in this regard, I strongly believe that male figure is far more accepted than it was last century.

Left: Papazacharias, Virtu-Raphael, 2009


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Above: Papazacharias, Nikitis, 2001

Right: Papazacharias, Grammas Chair, 2009

VL: Do you any funny stories about a shoot? NKP: I remember once we were shooting in my old studio and I had left the front windows opened. The old lady who was living across the street called the police cause she thought we were shooting a porn film. It took me several hours to explain to her what I was actually doing. She never talked to me again since that day.

VL: Any particular influences? NKP: Movies, old ones, usually from the 50s and 70s. But I’m Greek too, so, the beauty of ancient Greek men I see described in the statues around me is certainly another inspiration. VL: Tell me something people might not know about you or your work? NKP: I love shooting pictures of my house when I haven’t cleaned it for days, that’s how I keep track of reality. It is a way to focus on myself—I feel my sense of loneliness shown in these pieces.

LV: What are the passions that drive you? NKP: I have two passions, pictures and living in nature. I definitely see myself working with rough faced models, bodies sculpted from hard work, me in my studio somewhere far away from the city.


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Palimpsest, Synecdoche, and Art by Grady Harp There is an intertwining thread that sews art history and tracing that line of visual genealogy is something Tad Beck has perfected. Too often critics and art historians separate photography and ‘fine art’ as being polar disparities, but reviewing the history of each approach to the observed image shows that they are parallel in many ways. The “Camera” as opposed to the “Canvas” as a matrix for art dates back to Aristotle’s original concept and on to the year 1021 with the introduction of the camera obscura (light coming through a pinhole/lens projects an image outside upside-down onto a view surface). This artistic technique was used by 15th century Flemish painters and probably by Vermeer in the 16th century as a means to ‘create’ absolute realistic images. As painting developed so did the camera: in 1814 Joseph Nicéphore Niépce took the first photograph by coating a pewter plate with bitumen and exposing the plate to light. Within a few years the camera as we know it today was widely in use– many times by painters who, desiring extended time past the model’s departure or the movement of the sun, used this art tool to freeze a moment, a reference for further manipulating into a painting. Today representational artists comfortably salute the camera as an important part of their creative process.

Thomas Eakins, Art Students Bathing. 1883

In his series of works shown here, Tad Beck has manipulated the photographs of Thomas Eakins of around 1880 to produce wholly unique artworks that represent a highly successful homage to both the images and the spirit of Eakins, including Eakins' suppressed expression of occult eroticism. The results have been termed Palimpsest: the definition from the dictionary is a manuscript from a book that has been scraped off and used again, but a more poetic definition suggests a palimpsest as a work in which several figures and several meanings are merged and entangled together, all present together at all times, and which can only be deciphered together, in their inextricable totality. Beck’s art could also be examples of synecdoche —the material that a thing is made of referring to that thing, for

Left: Beck, Palimpsest 2


Eakins, Boys Boxing Albumen print c.1883 3.75 x 4.75 in. x-coll Seymour Edelman Olympia Gallery

example "plastic" for a credit card or, in this case, old photograph for contemporary art. For the artist Tad Beck these word plays are weak attempts to ‘explain’ his process. Beck is a man fascinated by the male body, by the communication between artist and model, and by queer history.

with his own models, in precisely the same poses, leaving in the occasional props from the originals. So, with contemporary techniques of digital manipulation, he superimposed his contemporary addenda onto Eakins' late 19th century images. The finished ‘paintings’ he then complemented with silver repoussé frames he gathered from various sources, superimposing a fictional history for the hand altered images. And to bring the balance between the past and the present, he completed each art work by placing the framed histories on black fields and photographed and enlarged each image to a 42 inch square. The results marry the artistic flavor and social mores of 19 century Victorian America with the sophisticated technology and sexually more assertive mindset of the present 21st century America: ‘several figures and

When he became acquainted with the Grafly Album of the photographs of nude male students taken by Thomas Eakins, he responded by revisiting the history, the talent, and the unspoken eroticism of Eakin’s images. He photographed a series of these, studied their composition and realized that the images were literally staged by Eakins. Beck photographed his own friends in the positions of Eakins’ students, and then replaced Eakins' models 20

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Beck, Palimpsest 4

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Ed Freeman grew up in Boston and majored in French at Oberlin College in Ohio. After college, he worked as a performing musician and studio guitarist on dozens of pop records. Highlights of his music career include writing arrangements for Carly Simon's debut album and producing Don McLean's "American Pie."

The less obvious answer is that I don't have issues with including male nudes in the range of my subject matter, along with landscapes, architecture and female nudes. The least obvious answer is that all these photographs are self-portraits—not literally, God knows—I'm a seventy-year-old man who would balk at so much as unbuttoning his shirt in front of the camera—but figuratively. These are pictures about my relationship with my own body, with the world around me and the Universal Spirit Body we're all part of.

Starting in 1989, he gradually transitioned to his other great love, photography. Since then he has published two books and exhibited widely in galleries and museums, both in this country and abroad. He has been awarded numerous prizes, been featured in dozens of publications, ranging from Photo District News to Popular Photography and has scores of magazine covers to his credit. His fine art images are in many private collections and in the permanent collections of several prominent American museums. More samples of his work can be seen at his Los Angeles Chinatown gallery and on his website,

VL: What is it about your approach that sets your work apart from other photographers of the male figure? EF: I don't think my images are particularly erotic, although they certainly are not entirely lacking in eroticism either. I'm more concerned with psychology and spirituality—specifically issues of alienation and aloneness—than I am with creating sexual fantasies. Visually, form, shape, and texture are more important to me than personalities or any specific body part— which is why so many of my pictures are anonymous, why so few ever show frontal nudity, and why I make such a free use of distortion.

Vitruvian Lens: Why is the male form a significant part of your work? Ed Freeman: The most obvious answer is that I'm gay and like most people, I photograph things—and people—I'm attracted to.

Left: Freeman, Untitled 8, 1996


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Freeman, Untitled 9, 1997

VL: Have you encountered any issues about having the male figure in your work? EF: No, not really. I live in Los Angeles, where anything you could ever imagine has already been done ten times more outrageously than you ever thought of doing it.

VL: Do you see a change in the acceptance of the male figure as subject? EF: There's been a huge change. When I started shooting twenty-five years ago, exposed flesh on men was not considered acceptable subject matter except in the gay community. Now men are eroticized at least as much as women in 28

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Freeman, Untitled 14, 1998

commercial publications, and the public is quite used to it.

center, and reconnection with it. But the human body is still—and always will be for me—the most beautiful thing I can imagine seeing with my own eyes and photographing with a camera. My vision may change, but my subject matter likely will not.

VL: How would you describe the progression of your work? EF: As I grow older, the erotic element in my pictures becomes even less prominent and the abstract, spiritual element becomes more prominent—this seems to be a natural, agerelated progression. Pictures of naked bodies are less about their being objects of desire and more about using them as metaphors for all that is human—our strengths and failings, courage and fear, separation from our spiritual

The pictures here are in chronological order; that'll give you an idea of how my style has evolved—from realism to surrealism to semiabstraction. The common denominator is that I've never felt any allegiance to traditional photography. I've always looked for ways to stretch the boundaries of what is called


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Vitruvian Lens: Tell us about yourself, David. David Jarrett: I started photographing at the University of Colorado, Boulder campus 50 years ago. I am entirely self-taught, and knew nothing about quality cameras or photography when I started. The first camera I bought was a top-of-the-line Nikon SP rangefinder camera with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. I shot only available light–no flash or strobe–and became chief photographer on the Coloradan yearbook for three years.

VL: Do you see a change in the acceptance of the male figure as subject? DJ: Yes. More and more people accept the male figure as an acceptable image form. Note the radical change in printed advertising, which years ago only illustrated females, but now illustrates males in the many advertisements. VL: Do you have a humorous experience you can share related to your models? DJ: Some of the guys that I photographed years ago for gay skin magazines, such as Blue Boy and Mandate, used the magazine as a marketing tool for their male prostitution services. They were all flattered that I wanted to photograph them, and I never had to pay for a model.

VL: Why is it that you focus on the male figure? DJ: As a gay man, I enjoy shooting male images. However, I photograph males whom I find are sexually attractive: reasonably young, clean cut, clean-shaven, with a slim and smooth defined body.

VL: What do you hope for with your work? DJ: I hope to become active again in photographing male bodies, using my digital camera. Quite frankly, during the last several years, I had gotten lazy and became much less active in doing male art photographs. However, a good prospective model could get me active once again. The lack of a studio space in New York City has limited my efforts. Most of my male images had been photographed outdoors, mainly in Provincetown MA. However, in South Beach FL, I now have a great new space adjacent my condo (which serves as my private male art gallery), which will provide a wonderful backdrop for photographing male bodies.

I generally focus on parts of a body and rarely shoot an entire standing body, head to toe. I attempt to place the body in a pleasing or exciting composition. VL: Have you encountered any issues about having the male figure in your work? DJ: I have never had any problem with my male imagery, perhaps because I live in New York City and South Beach, FL. I also lived part time in Provincetown MA, where I owned a summer retreat home for 34 years, selling it in September 2011. Left: Jarrett, E311-6 Gregory D. Provincetown 2006


VL: Tell me something people might not know about you or your work? DJ: In 1981, while summering in Provincetown, I met a beautiful young 21-year-old lad whom I had repeated sex with and photographed in the nude, with him jacking off and with hard-ons.

It was well publicized and brought in a large number of viewers, selling a number of limitededition prints. My first published photo was of a friend having sex in the dunes of Provincetown, which appeared in one of the gay skin magazines, Numbers, July 1980. One full-page photo was on the title sheet The Great Outdoors, and the other photo was a double-page spread of a close-up detail of the sex. No one knew I was photographing the scene, and faces were not shown. In all of my photography in various gay skin rags, I used my pseudonym David T. Terray, my name spelled backwards but substituting a “y” for a “J.”

At that time, he was starting to do photography, so we talked about photography quite a bit. He called himself Mark Dirt, but his real name was Mark Morrisroe from Boston. Mark Morrisroe died of AIDS in 1989 but left a large portfolio of his photography work behind. He had several one-man and group photo shows during his lifetime but became world famous after he died–with many one-man photo shows. His archive is now in a major European museum. His photographs command very substantial prices. Six of the colored slide photos that I took of Mark have been digitized and are now for sale at Clamp Art, in New York City. illustrates those six images and has a page where I discussed my relationship with Mark.

VL: When did you know you wanted to be a photographer/artist? DJ: Since high school days I was always interested in photography. But my photography really developed during my tenure at the University of Colorado, where I was about the only photographer who used available-light and did not use a strobe or flash to take photos. At that time, professional or adjustable cameras were rare, and an Argus C3 camera or a box Brownie was a typical camera, even for the rich students.

VL: Where do you find your models? DJ: Most of my models I personally knew from my many years summering in Provincetown. My home there was one of the very few homes at the time that had a large outdoor ten-man whirlpool spa, which attracted many goodlooking guys after the bars closed for the evening. It was a sex palace.

VL: Without burning any bridges can you share a best or worst experience as a photographer? DJ: At the end of its publishing life, Blue Boy magazine did not pay many of its photographers or writers. As the magazine failed to pay me for a set of photos, I sued them in New York City small claims court, and won the default judgment.

VL: Do you remember your first exhibition? DJ: My first exhibition was in Provincetown MA in 1990 at the Jones & Hobbs Gallery, a group show. It was a non-event. The Stellwagen Gallery in Provincetown hosted two one-man shows of my art called Provincetown Men, Provincetown Architecture in 1992 and 1993.

Right: Jarrett, E287-27A, Gregory D. Provincetown 1992


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Vitruvian Lens is an offshoot of our parent publication, The Art Of Man which began in 2010 and focused strictly on fine art of the male form in traditional media like painting, drawing, and sculpture. For a long time we resisted going into photography since so many were covering the subject, but once in a while we came across artists we felt used the camera as a kind of paint brush. The following interview was conducted in Chinese through a Google translation program. Explore more of Ren’s work at or

I know this way of thinking and behavior is very different and unacceptable to many. Life should be natural. Life does not give anyone an answer, it is what it is. I want people to make their own assessment of my work. My work expresses my experiences, and your interpretation of my work reflects and expresses your experiences. I hope that my photos are a myriad of answers to the problem, rather than a standard answer.

Ren Hang was born in Changchun, Jilin China and now lives in Beijing. Ren attended the Communication University of China. Vitruvian Lens: Can you describe your work? Ren Hang: My photography does not have any systematic theoretical philosophy behind it; I am not concerned with the technical aspects. It’s about recording what I saw and what I wanted to shoot, how I am feeling at that moment. My photos are not defined by name, and they are not meant to make sense. I think that in society now, and especially in China, everyone is expecting you to give the so-called "standard answer." I am not concerned with a correct answer; it’s all about my answer to life. Left: Hang, Untitled 1, 2010

Right: Hang, Untitled 2, 2010


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Hang, Untitled 3, 2010

VL: Why are men a large portion of your work? RH: Personally I am not focused on just men but they do make up a large portion of my portfolio. I think if you want to shoot the male body you need to show his genitals, and he must be a state of erection. An erection is powerful and demands attention. I like the hard, direct relationship. It is potent, though you don’t show these images here.

RH: Of course. My exhibitions in China are repeatedly blocked. Most of the exhibition can only display photos of models who wear a lot of clothes. Nude photo shoot outdoors attract the attention of the police; I was almost sent to prison—It was not pleasant. I think some of my photos are too taboo, not only in China but the whole world. Even the body itself is still a taboo. I shoot the body, not to document the limbs; I try to capture its presence and grace. Often people regard the body as a disgrace, shameful, and dirty. Why our bodies and these derogatory terms are linked is beyond me. Are we born with clothes? When you feel sexual, the nude body brings us pleasure. The physical body needs to be freed.

VL: How do people react to your work? RH: Some like it, some hate it. Reactions are either or. People accept or do not accept, it is a normal human reaction I am used to. VL: China is a very conservative country, have you faced any issues with exhibiting your work? 46

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Hang, Untitled 5, 2012

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Vitruvian Lens: Please tell us about yourself. Max Woltman: My name is Max Woltman and I’m from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

community theatre productions as a hobby. Eventually this became a profession in 2005 when I began working for a portrait studio in my hometown of Albuquerque. In addition to taking more conventional portraits, I also like depicting male beauty and eroticism through my photography.

People often ask how I got my start in photography. It was while I was working in the photo library and archives at the Center For Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona when the bug bit me. I would browse books in the collection and that’s where I discovered photographers like Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Harry Callahan, Nan Goldin, Bruce Weber, Robert Mapplethorpe, and George Platt Lynes.

VL: Why is the male form a significant part of your work? MW: I tend to work from an instinctual place in myself and that includes observing and studying what I find beautiful, interesting, or sexy. Men just happen to make me happy and I enjoy discovering the range of who we are. I appreciate physical attractiveness in men like musculature, strength, flexibility, and athleticism, but I’m also drawn to the emotional qualities men express or hide and the internal energy, drive, and sexuality that reveals itself through physical qualities like posture, sense of fashion or style, physical adornments such as tattoos, piercings, and even a man’s choice to grow a beard or conversely to trim or shave his facial hair, body hair, etc.

In 1999, I bought my first camera, a Sony Mavica, a 2-megapixel digital camera that used floppy discs. Until then, I always feared that photography was too expensive a hobby for me to pursue. The Mavica was a great way for me to learn composition and overcome any anxiety I had about wasting exposures. I could erase any shots that I didn’t like. Of course now I have learned not to delete images out of the camera because sometimes what I initially thought was a mistake ended up being the most interesting photograph.

VL: What is it about your approach that sets your work apart from other photographers? MW: I approach any photo shoot I do with passion and integrity. Even when I create highly erotic or pornographic images that some may find offensive, my intention is to always first respect the model and then to create art that

During this time, I began photographing headshots of fellow actors for college and

Left: Woltman, Myelin Sheath, digital photograph, 8 x 12 in. 2010


Do not ©opy Watermark not in printed copy or ebooks Woltman, Eternal Rest, digital photograph, 8 x 12 in. 2011

will arouse something in people. I want to enlighten, shock, provoke, and have people confront fears and find the authenticity within themselves and each other.

representations of masculine men in advertising, media, and art. The metrosexual man has become mainstream, and we continue to see more depictions of men who are gay, feminine, or transgendered. The internet has allowed us the opportunity to share a multitude of different body types, and it’s easier for us to find others who share our particular tastes or fetishes. I often get requests to photograph guys who don’t fit the typical mold for a male model. “I would love to see you photograph heavy guys,” for instance, is a request I’ve heard on more than one occasion.

VL: How do people react to the male figure in your work? MW: My mother doesn’t always like it when I show a guy’s butt in a photo, but other than that I haven’t encountered any objections. VL: Do you see a change in the acceptance of the male figure as subject? MW: Absolutely! Just look at the underwear company Andrew Christian, which makes no qualms about proudly embracing its gay male market. As a society, we are much more comfortable objectifying men and celebrating male beauty and sexuality. Not only do we see

VL: How has your style developed? MW: Technically, I know I’m better at lighting than I was ten years ago. I’m also more specific about how I choose to shoot a model, where I photograph him, and what I have him wear or 54

Do not Šopy Woltman, Namaste, digital photograph, 8 x 12 in. 2012 Watermark not in printed copy or ebooks Woltman, Cadmium Red, digital photograph, 8 x 12 in. 2011


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E. Gibbons is an internationally known figure painter, author, origami master, and also a public school teacher, hence the “E” as opposed to a full name, at least until he retires. Teaching, though, is a passion, and something he is also well known for in certain circles.

game; making ghosts appear within the photo, or orbs of light if the subject held out their hands. I could make it look like lightning was shooting out of someone’s hands. I was about twelve at the time, so it was fun, and long before Photoshop.

Vitruvian Lens however will focus on his photography, and a particularly unusual series he has called his Photographic Monoprints. Sadly, the series ended when Polaroid stopped their production of instant film in 2008. There are a finite number of images now available and published here for the first time. Three from the series were donated to the Leslie Lohman Gay Art Museum of New York, the rest are in the hands of the artist who can be contacted through email to lovsart (at)

In my early 20’s I started to use these playful techniques more purposefully. Using the alterations to the film as a paint-less media, I created some interesting images of people and places around me. But it wasn’t until watching The Wizard of Oz that lightning struck. I pulled out the camera and took an image of the television screen, noting where the face and hands were in the view-finder. Then I altered the photo right as it came out of the camera, rubbing it with textured plates I had been collecting, being careful not to disturb the key areas I knew would emerge.

Vitruvian Lens: How and when did this unique series begin? E. Gibbons: Polaroid instant photography has been around for quite a while. As a kid, I use to play with the film as it developed. By pressing on the film at different stages of development, I could affect the final image. At first it was a nifty

I found that if I worked very fast, I would create really bold color changes; slower work would produce darker textures. I had a technique to separate the layers of film as I worked to enhance the effects. I loved the blur, abstraction, the metallic coloration, and the element of surprise. It’s like when you glaze a pot, you’re never exactly sure what will happen

Left: Gibbons, Teal Dream, 3 x 3 in. 1998 (cropped)


A week or so later she dropped by and said she held a tea party with her friends to celebrate her purchase. Little did they know it was an extreme close up of Jeff Stryker getting rimmed. VL: Do people assume they are shot from life? EG: Yes, I think so. I have done some exhibitions at the LGBT center of New York, and generally focus on my classical paintings, but I usually would bring a bin of these erotic images. I’d often get questions asking who were the models. Some would say that the models seemed a bit familiar. My guess is they had the same videos at home. Gibbons, Red Hot, 3 x 3 in. (Actual Size Print) 2000

I even had one couple ask me to come to their apartment in New York to take photos of them. I assumed they wanted a classical portrait, so I brought that camera… They greeted me in their bath robes, and I thought that a bit strange. They seemed a bit confused as I took formal portraits of them… in their bath robes. As I left, being as dense as I can be, a bell went off in my head. I understood on the train-ride home, they wanted me to photograph their love-making session. Homer Simpson said it best, “Doh!”

to the glaze in the kiln, and sometimes happy accidents occur. These images sold well, and even the Judy Garland Museum has a few samples from that series. As a figure painter, I wanted to explore the male body in the same way, but I couldn’t afford to hire models at that time, so I used VHS adult videos. The technique abstracts the images just enough to hide exactly what’s happening, but there is this subliminal undercurrent to the work. Surely some of the images are more obvious in their content, but the ones I am sharing here are the more tame ones I could show in any gallery.

I still kick myself for being so oblivious! VL: Are you disappointed the series had to come to an end? EG: Well, I understand there is a company now, called The Impossible Project, which produces film for that camera in both color and black and white, but it’s a bit pricy, and I have moved on.

VL: Have you ever had someone buy an image and not know what was going on? EG: Yup. I put on an exhibit in the mid 1990’s and an older woman bought a piece. She asked about it, and I said it was just very sensual. She agreed and bought it on the spot. I framed them in very ornate wide Victorian gold frames. They were lovely.

Right: Gibbons, Lavender Loverboy, 3 x 3 in. 2001 (Cropped)


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Do not Šopy 68 Watermark not in printed copy or ebooks

Dianora Niccolini is an internationally recognized photographer of the male figure, breaking boundaries long before many of her male counterparts. Her importance to the field of male figurative photography cannot be understated. Vitruvian Lens is honored to be able to include her in this edition. Dianora is not a fan of interviews but instead responded with the following essay that answers much of what we would normally cover in an interview. Dianora Niccolini: My life as a photographer began in the early sixties. I landed my first job as a medical photographer almost at the same time that I met the world renowned photographer, Arthur Fellig. Weege, as he was called, was a lecherous but kindly old man constantly chasing young girls. I became the focus of his intent when I showed interest in his work. While I wanted to learn his photographic technique, he seemed to only want to get me into bed. Thus, a cat and mouse game ensued. This continued for several years until he realized that he was not going to succeed. During this time I learned a lot from Weege. We photographed the world trade fair in Queens together and he even allowed me to develop his film‌ even after I had ruined a roll by developing it in Dektol (a paper developer). That was many, many years ago!

I am now a fine art photographer and considered by many to be one of the female pioneers of the male nude in photography, a trend setter. Photographing the male nude now is commonplace, but a quarter of a century ago it was a different matter. It was not considered an art form but rather was relegated to homoerotic pornography. Homosexual men had always photographed their lovers (and other men willing to pose for them) since the onset of photography. Not too many women dared. If they did, few showed their work

Above: Niccolini, Adriane Š2005

Left: Niccolini, Eugene Š2005


Do not ©opy Watermark not in printed copy or ebooks Niccolini, Fletcher ©2008

publicly. However, gay magazines were full of photographic images of sexy men. Thus, the male nude became stigmatized! Fine art galleries refused to exhibit male nude photographs until I had my male nude exhibit in 1975 at The Third Eye Gallery in NYC. Luckily it was reviewed in the Sunday New York Times by Gene Thornton. It was a favorable review! The male nude in photography was finally legitimized and accepted by the art community.

The fact that I was a woman helped to destigmatize it. Robert Mapplethorpe surfaced several years later and his association with Sam Wagstaff, a very well respected collector of photography, really helped him a lot. He arranged a simultaneous exhibition of Mapplethorpe’s photographs at the three most prestigious places in the NYC Art scene—The Robert Samuel Gallery, The Miller Gallery, and The International Center of Photography. This propelled Mapplethorpe to a super star status.


Do not Šopy Watermark not in printed copy or ebooks Niccolini, Anthony Š1991


Do not Šopy Watermark not in printed copy or ebooks


Vintage Photos from the Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation Collection By Hunter O'Hanian, Museum Director The Leslie Lohman Museum has more than 20,000 objects in our respective collections. Most of the pieces are by artists and of subjects which are known to us. However, other pieces were donated over the years and represent artists and subjects who are unknown. When some objects are given to the Museum, it is the donor’s belief that they represented gay men and women in some way. That belief is really all we know about the piece in some cases. This ambiguity is particularly obvious when you look at some of the 19th century tintypes and daguerreotypes in our collection. In most cases, we are unable to date the individual pieces and we do not know the identity of the artist or the subject. When asked to look at some of the vintage photos in our collection, I enlisted one of our interns, Cody Ross, to examine a selection of older images with me to see if there was a way we could tell if they really represented samesex couples. Cody, who has a degree in sociology from Vassar and I examined these images and tried to figure out what made them gay—if anything.

These images, all believed to be from the 19th and early 20th century, show strong relationships between the subjects, often with clear and determined facial expressions. These facial expressions tell a lot as the technology behind making these images required the subjects to hold perfectly still for multi-second exposures. These are hardly candid shots– everything was done with a purpose, often to document a relationship or time in one’s life. By looking closely at the faces in the image, (left facing page) you can see that these two young men could easily be brothers. Look at their similar pinched faces. It does not seem that they are at all happy to be where they are, but they seem to be perfectly posed. The hands are precisely where they are supposed to be. Curious that the figure on the right chose to wear his coat and hat, even though they are in a studio with a fake backdrop meant to look like a drawing room in a fancy home. Was he on his way in or out? Perhaps he was selfconscious about a receding hairline—It looks like his brother had started combing his hair forward. It looks as if the photographer posed them exactly as he wanted. Maybe they were two straight brothers–was the photographer gay?


Do not Šopy Watermark not in printed copy or ebooks


There is a lot going on between these two on the left. Nothing is accidental about their pose. Look at the closeness of their heads. Just a slight turn of the heads and their lips would be touching. The figure on the left could even be hiding a smile behind that cigarette. Why was it so important to be seen smoking in this picture, one wonders? There is also a degree of arrogance about him as he is holding his gloves in his left hand while he has his hand around the figure on the left, allowing his hand to caress his friend’s cheek. He carefully and deliberately looks into the lens–the man in charge, possessions firmly in hand. Meanwhile, the man on the right seems confident that we know that he is very comfortable being in the grip of the other.

Do not Šopy Watermark not in printed copy or ebooks

With determination, he stares into the camera and lets us know of the arrangement between them, and his role in it. It is all perfectly fine with him, at least that is what he wants us to believe. Clearly, this looks like two men who were intimate with each other.

The rakish nature of the hat on the figure on the right offers an insight into a degree of playfulness which both of them seem to share. They each have handsome, rugged faces and well-developed bodies. They seem very confident in their masculinity. Even their hands seem large and used to physical labor.

Consider the image to the upper right. These two men seem nearly equal. They are comfortable leaning into each other, with their hands nearly touching. They were not able to sit still long enough to allow their feet to be shot without being blurred. Had they met during wartime and served as fellow soldiers and that was why they wanted the American flag in the background?

These two easily could have had a meaningful relationship that they attempted to document.


Do not ©opy Watermark not in printed copy or ebooks Looking left, there does not seem to be too much of a question about these two. Looking at their faces, they do not seem to be brothers. Again, they have chosen to pose themselves as close as they can physically. Their torsos are completely aligned and the figure on the left is embracing the subject on the right. Note the directness with which the one on the left is looking into the lens, as if to say, “Go ahead. I dare you to say something about us.” The other subject, notably is looking away, distractedly, as if he is detached, but there is a compete sense of comfort with the fact that the other man is so close to him. It seems obvious that these two men cared about each other and wanted to document what they had. The eight images photographs are striking when compared to the work of Wilhelm von Gloeden who was born Germany in 1856 and died in

Italy in 1931. He spent most of this life making photos in Italy at the same time as many of the previous images were made. However, von Gloeden’s photos (sample above) were made as pieces of art whereas the others were made to document relationships or occasions. The contrast of the two types of photos reveals that photographers had many choices as to how they choose to portray their subjects and the relationship between them. Some examples are coded, while others were totally unfiltered. Please explore more of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 26 Wooster St New York, NY 10013. Consider becoming a member and supporting the important work they do.


Artists Interviewed Nectario Karolos Papazacharias

Galerie Mooi-Man Groningen, Netherlands www.mooi-man.NL Alexander Salazar Fine Art San Diego, CA

Ed Freeman Recommended Websites David Jarrett

Ren Hang

Max Woltman E. Gibbons

Dianora Niccolini

Recommended Galleries

Other Books We Publish

Lyman-Eyer Gallery Provincetown, MA www.

Powerfully Beautiful

Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Museum Manhattan, NY Adonis Art Gallery London, UK Firehouse Gallery Bordentown, NJ PHD Gallery St. Louis, MO Lizardi/Harp Gallery Pasadena CA 626-791-8123

365 Art Quotes 100 Artists of the Male Figure The Art Of Man More info about Vitruvian Lens, subscriptions, back issues, submissions, and more can be found at: No assumptions should be made about the gender or sexuality of the artists. Though all of the artists dedicate a significant portion of their portfolio to the classical male form, they are equally adept in other subjects as well. We always seek artists who dedicate 50% or more of their portfolio to the male figure and promote those artists at no cost here. More information about being featured in a future edition can be found on our website:


Explore The Art of Man: Fine art of the male figure in traditional media.


Available everywhere in hardcover!


The classical male figure in art history, available in soft cover, and online at



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Vitruvian Lens (Abridged Sample)  

Vitruvian Lens strives to discover and showcase photographers with a fine art approach to the male figure in their work. We offer a non-erot...

Vitruvian Lens (Abridged Sample)  

Vitruvian Lens strives to discover and showcase photographers with a fine art approach to the male figure in their work. We offer a non-erot...

Profile for boxartist