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Uncovered: Rare Vintage Male Nudes Hardcover – April 14, 2009
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“Uncovered offers a veritable smorgasbord of ‘rare vintage male nudes’…From the advances in the quality of the photography to the evolution of the models’ haircuts, the book functions, in a nontraditional way, as a survey of the changing fashions of the 20th century – minus, of course, the actual fashions." ~Metro Source
“Uncovered, culled from private collections, closed archives and the deepest recesses of censorship in American history, an exceptional collection of dramatic and sexy images defined by aesthetic sensibilities ranging from the starkly classicist to the frankly erotic.” ~GayWired.com
“Massengill’s precise essays provide historical context and critical insight, making Uncovered that rare collection of male nudes with copy as engaging as the pics. They should’ve called it Unexpected.” ~ModernTonic.com
"Reed Massengill's book Uncovered: Rare Vintage Male Nudes reveals a treasure trove of images by famous shutterbugs of the not-so-innocent
’30s, ’40s and ’50s." ~Time Out New York
About the Author
Reed Massengill is a photographer and writer whose work has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for biography. He has authored and edited several books, including Self-Exposure: The Male Nude Self-Portrait and The Male Ideal: Lon of New York and the Masculine Physique. Victor Skrebneski is celebrated as one of the world’s finest fashion and portrait photographers. His published books include Five Beautiful Women.
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Top customer reviews
There are two exceptional features of this collection. The first is the short histories of each of the ten photographers' lives and work, many of whom are completely forgotten by all except a handful of dedicated collectors of male physique photography. The recounting of how the images created by these men who loved men and the male body were rescued for almost certain destruction, and how the photographers themselves were persecuted for creating and sharing these photos is deeply moving and historically important to tell. The second noteworthy feature is that the book has fairly high production values for its price-range. There has been a new wave of reproduction of vintage male erotica in recent years, and the qualities of such books vary enormously. While "Uncovered" does not have the same production values of a high-end coffee-table collection put out by a big publishing house, the paper on which the photos are printed is good. The images are clear and crisp, and the models retain all the vigor and masculine energy that their photographers saw in them when they stood before the camera decades ago. This is a book worth having in your collection for many years to come.
The 'uncovered male nudes' in this collection are often only partially revealed, as in the photographs by George Platt Lynes (1907 - 1955): positioning and shadows protect the eye form the full model image. Don Whitman (1916 - 1998) worked with body builders and carefully used the 'posing strap' to prevent viewer disdain. Likewise Al Urban (1917 - 1992) and Earle Forbes (1897 - 1970) focused on the posing Greek ideal for their Physique Images.
But with Plato (1925 - 2003) and John Shreeve Barrington (1920 - 1991) the element of eroticism in the art of male nude photography opened some doors: models were captured more in the privacy of the wild then in the studio and the freedom of posing choices expanded, but still with a sense of restraint. The images of Antonio Arabia (1931 - 1993) are more natural (models in the woodlands) and in many ways more erotic, and the images by Vulcan (b. 1921) and Robert Galster (1923 - 1991) invite the viewer to become involved in the scenario. Many of these images have never been published and Massengill provides a welcome bridge between the art of the male nude as popularized by the many practitioners of excellence today.
This is an important volume and one that will find a larger audience than many other books on the male nude: the images are less threatening to the viewer than the subsequent work of say Mapplethorpe et al. Massengill introduces each of the featured photographers with a brief but historically and artistically significant essay on both the artist and the particular constraints that surrounded the art of each. Grady Harp, May 09
The book, with its interesting foreword by Victor Skrebneski, is an fairly representative mid-twentieth collection of American male nudes and it is particularly worthy to have for those who want to seriously collect historical male nude photography.
Here is a collection of over 100 vintage picture by 10 photographers that will delight both old and new generations. Any connoisseur of the male nude will love this book!
Most recent customer reviews
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Reed Massengill continues to gather images and historical data that enhance his own very fine books of photography of...Read more