Fizeek Art


Baccant (1956) by George Quaintance.

Fizeek Art Quarterly was an American magazine of gay art and erotica which ran for 26 issues from 1961 to 1969. Artists included Tom of Finland and—as can be seen above—George Quaintance. The Fizeek Art Weblog continues the tradition of the magazine by posting extracts from old issues as well as more contemporary material (below) in a similar vein. “Vein” is perhaps an apt choice of description given the quantity of tumescent penises on display. Most of the images are quite gleefully hardcore (and often deliciously silly with it); as usual, if that’s not your thing then don’t look. Perfectly fine for the rest of us, however.


Virgo by Kit.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The gay artists archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Let’s get physical: Bruce of Los Angeles and Tom of Finland
Philip Core and George Quaintance

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


Edgar Hayes (Beach) (1957).

Bruce of Los Angeles is a new exhibition of beefcake photos from the Fifties and Sixties at Wessel + O’Connor, NYC, which opens today and runs until December 20, 2008. Bruce’s name is a very familiar one to aficionados of physique photography and I imagine some of these prints will be pretty familiar too. There’s a couple of guys with swords among the selection but as a break from that particular obsession I picked out cutie Edgar Hayes instead.

Born Bruce Bellas in 1909, he was a chemistry professor from Nebraska who would wind up in Los Angeles as the top “Beefcake” photographer of the 1950’s.

He started out there in the 1940’s, shooting bodybuilding contests and met many of his models while working for Joe Weider’s muscle magazine empire, which chronicled the physical culture movement sweeping across America following WWII. Bellas photographed some of the most important figures of this era; bodybuilders Steve Reeves, Ed Fury, and George Eiferman, as well as models such as Joe Dallesandro, Mark Nixon, and Brian Idol.


Physique Pictorial cover by Tom of Finland (1961).

Meanwhile, and a bit closer to home for me, the Contemporary Urban Centre in Liverpool has been running an exhibition of drawings by Tom of Finland, another very familiar name in the world of gay art and erotica. Twenty-five works are on display there until November 30th.

From Finland with lust | Mark Simpson looks at the artist’s legacy

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The gay artists archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Philip Core and George Quaintance

John Osborne’s Dorian Gray


I wrote recently about John Selwyn Gilbert’s television play, Aubrey, an hour-long drama concerning the artist Aubrey Beardsley. The play was only screened once in 1982 and, like most one-off studio works of the period, is unavailable on DVD. John Osborne’s 1976 adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray is a welcome exception to this neglect and can be acquired in a box set along with three BBC productions of Wilde’s plays and a more recent Wilde documentary.

The stage plays are decent enough although the cast in the 1952 film version of The Importance of Being Earnest takes some beating. Dorian Gray is for me the essential work in the collection, even if its 100-minute running time cuts the story to the bone. The principal attraction in an entirely studio-bound work with few actors is the leads, and for this we have two great performances from John Gielgud as Lord Henry and Jeremy Brett as artist Basil Hallward. The tragic Dorian is played by Peter Firth who has difficulty keeping up with these heavyweights, especially in the later scenes when the story concentrates more fully on his predicament. Matters aren’t helped by his Yorkshire accent which frequently rises to the surface in a manner that would surely raise eyebrows in Mayfair drawing rooms.


Lord Henry & Basil Hallward admire the portrait.

Continue reading “John Osborne’s Dorian Gray”

The recurrent pose 17


The Flandrin pose again, this time in a photograph by George Platt Lynes (1907–1955). This is from a Flickr set of Lynes’ work which was a nice find since many of the web collections are small and tend to repeat the same material.


The picture above isn’t from the Flickr set, it’s a scan from Philip Core’s essential Camp: The Lie that Tells the Truth (1984), and a photograph that long fascinated me for completely unwholesome and inartistic reasons. Core credits it only as depicting dancers from Balanchine’s Icarus but I’d suspected for some time it was a Lynes picture, Lynes having photographed Balanchine’s dancers on several occasions, notably in some nude stagings of Orpheus. The Flickr picture below confirms the Lynes origin although it adds a new layer of mystery by crediting it to Balanchine’s Die Fledermaus. Given the very Classical look of the dancers’ costumes I suspect Core has the correct attribution but the confusion is also an excuse to keep searching.


Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The recurrent pose archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Philip Core and George Quaintance
George Platt Lynes

Men with snakes


Laocoön and His Sons attributed to Agesander, Athenodoros
and Polydorus of Rhodes (c. 160–20 BCE).

No jokes about snakes in a frame, please. Bram Dijkstra’s Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin de Siècle Culture (1986) is a wide-ranging study of the “iconography of misogyny” in 19th century painting. Dijkstra examines the numerous ways that women were depicted in late Victorian and Symbolist art, with one chapter, “Connoisseurs and Bestiality and Serpentine Delights”, being devoted to representations of women with animals, especially snakes. The story of Eve and the Serpent prompts many of these latter images, of course, while scenes with other creatures seem intended to demonstrate the Victorian attitude that woman was closer to the brute beasts than man and could often be found conspiring with them to bring down her masculine masters. Continue reading “Men with snakes”