The Homoerotic Photograph by Allen Ellenzweig
Male Images from Durieu / Delacroix to Mapplethorpe

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Synopsis

Allen Ellenzweig traces the male gaze upon men as captured by the camera throughout the history of photography. More than one hundred striking, provocative duotone photographs reflect a wide-ranging history of photographic male homoeroticism and the spiritual, physical, and intellectual exchange among men. Accompanying these images is a detailed account of the multiple, complex meanings of the homoerotic that have taken shape from the 1850s to today.

Ellenzweig situates each of his artists within their historical context, with chapters devoted to specific photographers and eras. He begins with nineteenth-century French photographer Eugène Durieu and his studies of the male nude, created under the direction of painter Eugène Delacroix. He then takes readers all the way through the rebellious 1960s and the disputes surrounding Robert Mapplethorpe's controversial retrospective in 1989 and 1990. Showing that homoeroticism in photography is anything but a contemporary invention, Ellenzweig unites photographers across the stylistic spectrum within a theme that came to inspire a host of larger spiritual, physical, and intellectual ideals.

 

About Allen Ellenzweig

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Allen Ellenzweid -- art and photography critic, cultural journalist, freelance curator -- is an administrator at the Center for French Civilization and Culture at NYU.
 
Published April 15, 1992 by Columbia University Press. 230 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Discussing artists ranging from Thomas Eakins to Robert Mapplethorpe in this lavishly illustrated survey, Ellenzweig maintains that until very recently male homoerotic photographs were presented in terms acceptable to a wide audience.

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