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Gorgeous Gallery Hardcover – July 15, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Bruno Gmunder Group (July 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3867872481
  • ISBN-13: 978-3867872485
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,240,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Leddick is an author, playwright and actor.

He has 22 books published: many photography books about the male nude (including one of Taschen's top-ten bestsellers, "The Male Nude"), and the second edition of "In the Spirit of Miami Beach" (from Assouline Books).

Leddick has published six novels (including "My Worst Date" and "The Sex Squad"), and a biography of art figures from the 1930s and 1940s, "Intimate Companions."

The author's newest book, "Gorgeous Gallery," is a collection of homoerotic art published by Bruno Gmunder and will be available worldwide in June. Leddick's next book will be "Meaningless Hugs, Meaningless Kisses," an impressionistic "imagined memoir" about a gay man's life in his 70s.

He was born in 1930, and after graduating from the University of Michigan served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He was at Bikini Atoll during the hydrogen bomb testing. Leddick moved to New York in the 1950s, and was a ballet dancer. He was with the Metropolitan Opera where he appeared onstage with great Divas such as Maria Callas.

Leddick has worked in advertising as the Worldwide Creative Director for Revlon in New York, and as International Creative Director for L'Oreal in Paris, through the 1970s and 1980s. He created some of the era's most iconic beauty campaigns (including the groundbreaking TV commercial for Jontue fragrance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDsPLNT2qq0).

He began a new career at the age of 65 as a writer, creating male nude photography books and writing novels. His first novel, "My Worst Date," was the most reviewed first novel from St. Martin's Press.

Resuming his theater career at the age of 70, he has written the scripts and lyrics for a number of musicals and plays he has performed throughout the U.S., Europe and South America.

Now in his 80s and living in Miami Beach, Leddick wants to write about reporting back from what he calls the "uncharted territory of aging." He considers living in his 80s to be the new late middle-age: "After romantic relationships and living life to the fullest through my 70s, I feel like I have gone out into an unknown frontier from which no one has reported back." His next books about this are "How to Hit 70 Doing 100" and "Sexercise at 70."

"I call everyone who is over 65 a Sextennial, and we are all going to share a new, rich experience in this last third of our lives - a productive and exciting time which has never existed historically before."

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H. Williams on October 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
David Leddick has produced a colorful art book of absurdly handsome men. E-readers will never be able to replace this sort of presentation, a beautifully printed book on slick heavy paper. It's so good looking that, like a new model boyfriend, you'll want to show it off. A better title for this book would be "Perfect Modern Fantasies: 125+ Nearly Pornographic Pictures from 40 or so Gay Artists."

After a token look at some pre-20th-century art works, Leddick has divided the book into three sections: "Contemporary," "Avant-Garde," and "Classic." At first glance, this is an interesting order to present the works, but after examining the works (and sometimes very, very carefully examining them a number of times over several days) the categories don't make much difference.

In the first section, "Contemporary," Leddick presents 17 artists. The first artist in the section is Don Bachardy, Christopher Isherwood's partner who still lives in Southern California. This starts the book strongly with a series of vivid nude studies of men at rest. Midway through the section, David Hockney's simple drawings give a break from the painted nudes. Three intense images of penises by Andy Warhol, who typifies the adrenaline-fuelled New York art world, appear near the end of the section.

Throughout the book, each artist gets a short write-up with a random amount of information along with their selected images. Each section bounces between East Coast, West Coast, and international artists, which seems confusing until you realize that within each section, the book presents its artists alphabetically rather than based on geography, medium, thematic approach, or chronology.
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Format: Hardcover
This inside cover flap statement by author/curator David Leddick rather sums up this very spectacular book that will surprise the legion of followers that David Leddick enjoys. He has published not only some vey fine novels, but he is perhaps best known for his always erudite and entertaining introductions to books on art: anthologies seem to be his metre. He may be providing information about erotic art but it is always with a style of academic dignity.

GORGEOUS GALLERY is somewhat of an exception for Leddick. This time around he has created a book that begins with a lucid, detailed history of `Homoerotic Art Through History' form the Greeks and Romans to the present. Opening with a tongue in cheek discussion about the prudish public afraid to accept that art can be erotic (`This is an idea that has been strongly resisted in our still oh-so puritan United States. Porn is something that you receive in a plain wrapper and regard in the privacy of your bedroom or closet.'), and then proceeds to give written and visual examples of the eroticism in the art of the master, carrying his historical path through the ages to the present. He ten divides his book into time chapters - Contemporary, Avant-Garde, and Classics - each chapter including artists who have chose one of these three pathways to present the male nude.

And then the fun begins. Every artist in this book is represented by a brief but concise biography and examples (often full page sized) of their work. In the Contemporary sector he includes Don Bachardy, David Hockney, Michael Leonard, Steve Walker (whose painting graces the cover), Wes Hempel, Joseph Fanielli, Andy Warhol and others. In the Avant-Garde section he places Jack Balas, Miguel Angel Reyes, Marc Ming Chan (a thrillingly brilliant draughtsman!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Artfully Minded on July 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have long admired the work of David Leddick, I own several of his books. His keen eye for the figure is beyond doubt. If you collect work by Leddick, you should have this book in your collection as well.

The Good: Including Don Bachardy, Andy Warhol, and David Hockney in a collection of male figurative work is an admirable "get" that "100 Artists of the Male Figure," and its predecessor "Powerfully Beautiful" were unable to accomplish -- likely due to the well deserved cachet of the Leddick name.

The Confusing: Why the beautifully executed and classical figures of Fanelli, Hemple, or Leonard should be included in a collection that also features semen soaked blokes is jarring. I fully recognize that one can and does collect work by both erotic and non-erotic artists -- and that many erotic artists, Felix d'Eon for example, also create work that is classical in tone -- the juxtaposition here feels disjointed. I would also say that some of the talent featured feels uneven.

David's curatorial eye is impeccable, the addition of works that make the book feel dissonant are likely due to Publisher Gmunder who were well on their way to publishing a more classically themed book in 2010 but nixed it when the CEO demanded the inclusion of overt sexual content.

So if you seek a platter of male figures peppered with erotica, then this spicy dish is for you! If you hope to buy a book you can leave on the coffee table when mixed-company arrives, I think this book is best left under your bed.
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