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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine collection of nearly pornographic images presented as gay art
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...
Published 24 months ago by H. Williams

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A platter of male figures peppered with erotica
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...
Published on July 17, 2012 by Artfully Minded


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine collection of nearly pornographic images presented as gay art, October 7, 2012
This review is from: Gorgeous Gallery (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. While Bachardy, Hockney, and Warhol are the best known artists in the "Contemporary" section, I also recognized some of the other artists (such as Wes Hempel and Michael Mitchell) from book jacket covers and publications that use their images.

The middle section, "Avant-Garde," presents a set of artists whose names I didn't recognize, but offers some of the strongest images in the book. My newly discovered favorites include Felix d'Eon, who presents very witty dirty cartoons, and James Huctwith, who has an exceptional way with serious portraits and groups of men in dark poses. I also laughed at Christopher Schulz's nude imaginings of the fleshy actor "Seth Rogan."

But calling this section "Avante-Garde" is misleading. Other than a bit of post-modern joking, the images seem like straightforward nudes. This would have been the section for Robert Mapplethorpe, Tom of Finland, any of the manga artists (such as Gengoroh Tagame), or one of the serious fetish artists, but they're missing from this collection, as is any significant photography.

The last section, "Classics," presents the artists who are generally older or who created some of the earliest works in the collection. This section owes a special debt of gratitude to the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, which provided many of these timeless reproductions. The most famous artist in this section is the master Paul Cadmus. While many of the other images seem rough or impressionistic, Cadmus's young men are clearly recognizable as 20th-century icons.

Interestingly, the "Classics" section shows the largest number full erections (on single men and on couples), the biggest dicks, the largest number of men having explicit sex, and both depictions of auto-fellatio in the book, but also bares the fewest butts. I'm pretty sure that gay men weren't more randy years ago, but were artists more uninhibited without the fear of their work being confused as pornography?

One the one hand, I would have liked better biographies (or, in some cases, any biographical information) of the largely unknown artists, along with a mention of the artistic medium and the original size of the work, but this isn't a serious art book. This is a book that you'll enjoy perusing at leisure. David Leddick has a sweet job, deciding which images to include, and he's done a great service in putting together a collection that's rich in visual content but negligent on analysis, which is fine for discovery and browsing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `Even the ancients were aware that art could turn you on.', July 15, 2012
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This review is from: Gorgeous Gallery (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!), the dichotomous Mark Beard/Bruce Sergeant, and others. And in the Classics division we find Paul Cadmus, Pavel Tchelitchew, Darold Perkins and others who and other artists whose blatant, in your face eroticism references Leddick's opening comments on pornography!
So why is this collection so different from Leddick's previous anthologies? Certainly other first rate books such as `100 ARTISTS OF THE MALE FIGURE' present an equal number of excellent artists, but it seems this is the first book that unabashedly includes erotica in its presentation of artists who paint or draw the male figure. It is a rich, stylish, beautifully designed and produced book and a very fine addition to the library of gender studies. Grady Harp, July 12
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A platter of male figures peppered with erotica, July 17, 2012
This review is from: Gorgeous Gallery (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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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous book, March 17, 2013
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This review is from: Gorgeous Gallery (Hardcover)
No disappointment at all with the book - gorgeous indeed. Recommend it for those how are looking for something different
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good paper, August 5, 2012
This review is from: Gorgeous Gallery (Hardcover)
Although I am impressed with the large and diverse collection of artists, I am dissapointed in the dept and analysis of the work. It feels a bit like 'loose sand'. On a positive note, the used paper is quite good... ;-) Gorgeous Gallery
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Gorgeous Gallery
Gorgeous Gallery by David Leddick (Hardcover - July 15, 2012)
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