Nine

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Celebrating nine years of interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms. As before, a look at the annual delivery of stats from WordPress is instructive.

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 970,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 42 days for that many people to see it.

The busiest day of the year was August 30th with 4,215 views. The most popular post that day was Index, fist or manicule?

Most posts here hit between 2,500 to 3,000 visits a day although the annual total is down on last year. I have Google stats indexing this site but I can never be bothered logging in to see how they compare. WordPress has the advantage of delivering stats to your blogging dashboard.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2014.
1 The art of NoBeast June 2007
2 The art of Thomas Eakins, 1844–1916 March 2006
3 The art of Takato Yamamoto June 2007
4 Gekko Hayashi revisited December 2012
5 The art of Oliver Frey July 2009

The gay art posts always beat everything else, and NoBeast is the most popular post for another year. Russia’s current crop of authoritarian goons may regard gay sex as horribly un-Russian but NoBeast gets consistently heavy traffic from VK, the Russian social network.

The top referring sites in 2014 were:
1. twitter.com
2. facebook.com
3. ficbook.net
4. pinterest.com
5. mentalfloss.com

Twitter and Facebook referrals are all very well but the way they hide what people are looking at means they’re no help to people running websites. Anyway, thanks as always for reading, referring and commenting! Here’s a few musical nines:

If 6 Was 9 (1967) by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Nine Feet Underground (1971) by Caravan
Nine Moons In Alaska (1971) by Beaver & Krause
Party 9 (1973) by Faust
Katzenmusik 9 (1979) by Michael Rother

Gekko Hayashi revisited

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It remains a fact that the most popular posts here are the sex-related ones. The post about Clayton Cubitt’s Hysterical Literature project continues to rack up views despite having been written about at greater length on far more popular sites; this weekend Facebook users were flocking to see the phallic plaster casts (why now?).

One of the perennial favourites from the gay artists archive is the post I made two years ago about the homoerotic art of Gekko Hayashi, the pseudonymous alter ego of Goji Ishihara (1923–1997). This has managed to become an almost universal point of reference despite all my knowledge about the artist being gleaned from other websites. The popularity would appear to be due to a generally high level of visibility in Google rankings combined with a tendency to write about recherché subjects which don’t receive high-profile attention elsewhere. Talking to Anne Billson yesterday about Ishihara’s monster art had me searching around for more of the Hayashi material. There’s still little to be seen outside some Japanese reprints. Given the language barrier when searching the Japanese book world it’s difficult to say whether any of these are still in print.

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After turning up a few more examples of Hayashi’s work I’m increasingly struck by the strangeness of some of his art as well as the rare disjunction of seeing a commercial illustration style serving semi-pornographic ends. The latter effect is like seeing the libido of an artist such as Look and Learn painter Ron Embleton suddenly laid bare. A similar disjunction can be found in Oliver Frey’s work where a polished illustration and comic strip technique is applied to raw sexual scenarios. (I should note that Ron Embleton’s libido was on display in his comic strips for Penthouse magazine while—going in the opposite direction—Oliver Frey worked for a while at Look and Learn.)

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You can find a polished style elsewhere but few artists get quite as weird with their erotic fantasies as the picture below showing a pair of penis-headed males embracing, and the one of a boy in what may be a bath full of blood being menaced (?) by an ambulatory midget phallus. Weirdness is familiar in the fetish world—everyone’s fetish is inherently weird to those who don’t share it—but always within strict limits, and besides, these aren’t fetishes. What’s odd about the pictures (especially the first) is the way they overburden the eros with a peculiarity you’d think would defeat the purpose of the painting. Hayashi/Ishihara worked as a comic artist as well as an illustrator so perhaps they’re part of a larger narrative; they may also be illustrating a text piece like some of the other pictures. For the moment they appear caught between the gay work and the monster illustration from the 1970s. This isn’t a complaint, it makes the art all the more intriguing and worth searching for.

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Continue reading “Gekko Hayashi revisited”

Japanese gay art

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An untitled drawing by Sadao Hasegawa from Japanese Gay Art, an English-language site with a substantial collection of works by Hasegawa and others, all of which are for sale. Examples run the spectrum from Gengoroh Tagame‘s beefcake S&M to Hideki Koh‘s delicate geisha boys. Something for everyone, in other words. There are also artist interviews, and a handful of articles about this area of the Japanese art world.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The gay artists archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Gekko Hayashi: homoerotics and monsters
The art of Ben Kimura
The art of Goh Mishima, 1924–1989
The art of Hideki Koh
Secret Lives of the Samurai
The art of Sadao Hasegawa, 1945–1999
The art of Takato Yamamoto

Gekko Hayashi: homoerotics and monsters

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Needless to say, it’s primarily the homoerotics which concern us here. Gekko Hayashi is the name under which Japanese artist Goji Ishihara (1923–1997) produced his gay erotica, and these examples are among a small handful to be found on the web. Far more common is his Ishihara work which included some spectacular grotesqueries for the Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters (1972) and the Illustrated Book of Hell (1975). Sate your appetite for the monstrous at Pink Tentacle.

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Hayashi/Ishihara’s work may be scarce but you can read about both his personas thanks to ComiPress, who posted an overview of the artist’s career, and Comics212, who examined the gay side of his output. There is a book collection of Hayashi’s gay art but that appears to be out-of-print. This Japanese page has many samples from the Ishihara work.

The dual career of Hayashi/Ishihara brings to mind another artist equally adept at commercial illustration and gay art, Oliver Frey. As “Zack”, Frey gained an enthusiastic audience in UK gay mags while he was also popular with quite a different audience for his illustrations in computer game magazines throughout the 1980s. He was also no slouch at painting monsters as I recall. A collection of Zack comic strips, Bike Boy, is published this month by Bruno Gmünder.

Continue reading “Gekko Hayashi: homoerotics and monsters”

The gay artists archive

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Previous posts about gay or homoerotic art or artists. A personal and idiosyncratic selection, this isn’t meant to be definitive.

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Tom’s World

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Born to be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey

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The art of Antoon van Welie, 1866–1956

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The art of Paul Thévenaz, 1891–1921

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The art of Peter Knoch

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The art of Tatsuji Okawa, 1904–1994

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The art of Willem Arondeus, 1894–1943

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The art of Nicholas Tolmachev

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The art of David Haines

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A Q&A with artist Mel Odom

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Homosurrealism

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In Homage to Priapus

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Querelle de Brest

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Fast Friends

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The art of Jean Boullet, 1921–1970

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Tom of Finland redesigned

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May Wilson’s Snowflakes

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Tom of Finland postage stamps

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The art of Robert W. Richards

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The art of Sidney Hunt, 1896–1940

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Ignacio Goitia interviewed

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Andrey Avinoff revisited

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Fetish photographer Rick Castro

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Keep Your Timber Limber

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The art of Naomichi Okutsu

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The art of Konstantin Somov, 1869–1939

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The art of Seiji Inagaki

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Claudio Bravo’s packages

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Gekko Hayashi revisited

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The art of George Stavrinos, 1948–1990

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The art of Gösta Adrian-Nilsson, 1884–1965

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The art of Gregorio Prieto, 1897–1992

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The art of Guido Reni, 1575–1642

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The art of Michael Leonard

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The art of Ismael Álvarez

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Muto Manifesto, volume 7

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Cum In Your Eye by Scott La Force

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Be prepared

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The art of Xiyadie

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Jacques d’Adelswärd-Fersen revisited

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Gay octopus sex

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The art of Hyeyeol

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Richard Bruce Nugent’s Salomé

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The art of Elmgreen and Dragset

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Elie Grekoff’s Tirésias

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The art of Rob Clarke

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Japanese gay art

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The art of Mel Odom

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The Classical alibi in physique photography

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Ed Wood’s Sleaze Paperbacks

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Looking for the Wild Boys

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Seminal art and design

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The art of Ludwig von Hofmann, 1861–1945

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Muto: The Exterface Manifesto

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Carl Corley

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Phallic casts

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Lonesome Cowboys

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Jean Genet… ‘The Courtesy of Objects’

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Loving Boys by Christian Schad

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Saint Genet

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Le Baiser de Narcisse

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Philippe Jullian, connoisseur of the exotic

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The art of Marcus Behmer, 1879–1958

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Richard de Chazal’s Zodiac

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Wildeana #3

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Der Eigene: Kultur und Homosexualität

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The art of Ignacio Goitia

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Gekko Hayashi: homoerotics and monsters

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The Lady Is Dead and The Irrepressibles

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The fetish art of Taylor Buck

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The art of Ben Kimura

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The art of Dmitry Dmitriev

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Sanctuarium Artis Elisarion

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The recurrent pose #32

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Le livre blanc by Jean Cocteau

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Michelangelo’s Dream

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Sherbet and Sodomy

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The art of Yannis Tsarouchis, 1910–1989

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Ecce homo

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Joseph Cavalieri’s stained glass

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Eros: From Hesiod’s Theogony to Late Antiquity

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The end of Orpheus

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The art of Robert Sherer

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The art of Goh Mishima, 1924–1989

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The art of Benoit Prévot

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The art of Robert R Bliss, 1925–1981

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The art of Oliver Frey

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The Great God Pan

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Jerry by Paul Cadmus

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The art of Ralf Paschke

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The recurrent pose #26

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The art of Anthony Goicolea

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The art of Philip Shadbolt

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The art of Patrick Gerbier

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The art of Paul Richmond

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The art of Hideki Koh

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The art of Cody Furguson

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Colin Corbett’s decorated jockstraps

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Fizeek Art

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Let’s get physical: Bruce of Los Angeles and Tom of Finland

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Secret Lives of the Samurai

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The art of Cuauhtémoc Rodríguez

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Matthew Bourne’s Dorian Gray

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IKO stained glass

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The art of Nebojsa Zdravkovic

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The art of Jason Driskill

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William Rimmer’s Evening Swan Song

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The art of Norbert Bisky

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The art of Joan Sasgar

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Happy birthday Henry

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Phallic worship

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Saint Sebastian in NYC

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Mark Beard’s artistic circle

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Czanara: The Art & Photographs of Raymond Carrance

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The art of Scott Treleaven

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Reflections of Narcissus

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Narcissus

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Guido Reni’s Saint Sebastian

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The art of Sascha Schneider, 1870–1927

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Anthony Gayton’s Fall

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Hadrian and Greek love

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The art of Sadao Hasegawa, 1945–1999

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Cain’s son: the incarnations of Grendel

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The art of Hernan Gimenez

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AVAF at Mao Mag

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The art of Matthew Stradling

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Men with snakes

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Felix D’Eon

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Obverse Paintings by Fred Chuang

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Les Farfadais

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The art of Takato Yamamoto

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The art of NoBeast

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The art of Andrey Avinoff, 1884–1949

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The art of Jacques Sultana

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Toxicboy

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The South Bank Show: Francis Bacon

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The art of Lucio Bubacco

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The Male Gaze

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The art of ejaculation

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Philip Core and George Quaintance

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The Budweiser Ganymede

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Czanara’s Hermaphrodite Angel

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The art of Giulio Aristide Sartorio, 1860–1932

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The art of Robert Flynt

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February boy

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The art of Peter Colstee

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Images of Nijinsky

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Michael Petry’s flag

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Angels 6: Paradise stands in the shadow of swords

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Angels 3: A diversion

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Angels 1: The Angel of History and sensual metaphysics

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The art of Hubert Stowitts, 1892–1953

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The art of Bill Travis

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Jean-Frédéric Bazille’s swimmers

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The art of Paul Cadmus, 1904–1999

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The Cult of Antinous

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Army Day

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Super-objects!

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View: The Modern Magazine

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Michelangelo revisited

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The art of Thomas Eakins, 1844–1916

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The male nude in art

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Gay book covers

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Marcello Dudovich

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Evolution of an icon

More archive pages:
The archive page archive