Sunday, April 11, 2021

Western Skies with WPG, Part 1 - Don Whitman Classic Nudes

Don Whitman of Western Photography Guild is justifiably listed among the greatest physique photographers, and his use of the Western landscape is legendary.  Today we will have a double feature of his outdoor work, starting with nudes and this great shot of Ronnie Moore.


Oscar Navarre looks quite dramatic silhouetted against the sky with his hair in the wind.


Marc Arno was one of Don Whitman's most prolific models,
and today we'll enjoy a derriere shot.


The last time I posted a WPG photo of Eddie Williams, he was holding a whip.
This time, he's tied up.  Is there a pattern developing here?  Probably not.
Don Whitman photographed him multiple times in an amazing array of settings.


Quite a bit of fur on display in this WPG photo of Rod Harmon.


Western Skies with WPG, Part 2 - Non-nudes

Duane Knaus kicks off the G-rate half of today's Western Photography Guild double feature.
It's a classic Don Whitman combination of rocks, hills, trees and sky . . . plus a handsome man.


I never get tired of looking at Bill Melby.  He had a successful pro wrestling career in addition to modeling for Don Whitman of WPG and Bruce of LA.  Bruce managed to snag at least one full frontal shot, but to be honest, his work for Don Whitman was better despite the lack of frontal nudity.


Keith Lewin strikes an impressive pose here that 
manages to showcase both his shoulders and legs.


These two guys are the Conklin Twins, Robbie and Richie.  Wish I knew more about them.
I don't even know which is which, but at least the tattoos are different.  That's a clue.


We finish the G-rated half of our WPG double feature with Dick Mathias in a scene 
where the usual contrasting clouds and sky in the background are missing.  Was there a 
storm forming back there?  This is one of those times I find myself wishing for color.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Igout's Studies for Artists

Louis Igout was a 19th Century French photographer whose photographic studies for artists 
have been frequently featured here on the blog.  His work is often confused with that of 
Hermann Heid, an Austrian photographer who worked in Paris at the same time and whose 
work was published in an album of studies without attribution for any of the photographers.  
This stocky, curly haired guy is by far my favorite Igout/Heid model.


Our curly headed guy and another of Igout's favorite models appear in this twofer.


Somewhat unusually for the time, we can actually see some of this model's body hair.
19th Century flash photography often "blanched out" body hair.


My favorite Igout (or is it Heid?) model appears here in a jaunty pose with a sword.


Igout used this model in a number of physical activity settings that sometimes included props.


This model appears in a number of photos attributed to Igout, including one of the two double panels in today's series.  My interest was drawn to his hand for two reasons.  First, he apparently worked mainly outdoors in long sleeves since only his hand is tanned.  Second, there is something intriguing about the way he his holding his fingers against the wall.  I don't know why I noticed that, but I did.


Friday, April 9, 2021

The 1950's, Part 1 - Physique Photos from 1956

The 1950's are often described as repressed and conservative, and that is mostly true.  
There were some photographers and artists, however, who did some interesting work 
despite the times.  Today's double feature is all about the 50's, and our photos are 
all from 1956.  We start with Gary Frost by Bruce of LA.


This is Lee Crites, a model Chuck Renslow of Kris Studio described
 in his notes as "a hustler who only worked one day" in 1956. 
Used by kind permission of copyright holder, Leather Archives and Museum of Chicago.


Lyle Frisby took this photo of Hank Evans and Ed Haley in 1956, around the time he was imprisoned for distributing frontal male nude photos.  Click the label to learn more about Mr. Frisby.
We must never forget those who paid the price for our right to view these photos.


This enticing 1956 photo of George Rugg was marketed by Kensington Road, 
a trade name used for a time by Bruce of LA based on his street address.


Bob Hille posed for an impressive 1956 photo by Frank Collier.
I may do a series in a few days on this underrated photographer. 


The 1950's, Part 2 - Art by Don Wight

Don Emerson Wight (1924-1999) was best known as a fabric designer, but early in his career, he did a series of interesting male nudes.  These do not appear to be academic works and are generally dated to the 1950's, hence their inclusion today.  We start with one of two reclining nudes in my collection.


Instead of fully relaxing, the model in this Don Wight piece seems to be making an effort to stare directly at the artists.  Hopefully, my life model friend in London will comment on this.


The multi-angular line technique is this drawing is quite a contrast to most of Wight's work.
The modified "bulldog" pose is also rare for the 1950s.


Wight's line type drawings make me think he could have been inspired by Cocteau and/or Picasso.


This final image of a Don Wight work leaves me wondering if it was unfinished 
or if the three men's faces (and one upper torso) were done that way for effect.