# 43830

MIZER, Bob (1922 - 1992)

Physique pictorial. Volume 15, number 3, June 1966

$30.00 AUD

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Los Angeles : AMG, 1966. Octavo, pictorial wrappers, pp. 32, black and white photographs, with cover art by TOM OF FINLAND.

The breakthrough publication which saw Touko Laaksonen’s ‘dirty little pictures’ exposed to a broader gay readership. Laaksonen submitted his drawings to publisher Bob Mizer simply signed as ‘Tom’. Mizer saw the envelopes had arrived from Finland, so credited the works to Tom of Finland thus creating the pseudonym which would last through Laaksonen’s career. While much of Tom of Finland’s early career was spent ‘under the covers’, this pioneering erotic gay artist is now celebrated internationally for his genre defining subject matter and quality of execution. Tom of Finland’s gay erotic drawings were recently the subject of a major retrospective at Kiasma, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland.

Physique Pictorial, published by Bob Mizer’s Athletic Model Guild (AMG) was the first all-male and all-nude magazine in the United States. It is an example of a ‘beefcake’ magazine which published images of athletic and attractive young men primarily for a homosexual clientele, commencing prior to the relaxation of pornography laws in the 1960s, and continuing through to . Interestingly, the magazine editors are well aware of the controversial nature of the magazine’s content, and a number of articles relate to being the sensitivities of the material and the need for discretion in storing one’s pictorial collection. As well as homoerotic photography Physique pictorial features black and white drawings by Spartacus, Art Bob, Bill McLane, Tristrano, Ted Kenton and numerous illustrations by the legendary Tom of Finland.

Physique Pictorial ran from 1951 – 1990, during which social attitudes homosexuality, male sexuality and the depiction of the male nude saw rapid and distinct change. In this extensive run, spanning four decades, images of masculinity range from being veiled in a healthy lifestyle outdoors in the 50s where full nudity was illegal through to explicit depiction of gay subcultures such as S&M, bondage and leather fetishism of later decades and into a period where the impact of AIDS was being felt with particular brutality in the gay community. As such, a collection such as this is a valuable record of gender studies and evolving social attitudes towards homosexuality.

Upon the death of Mizer a vast quantity of negatives, films and vintage publications were discovered in the Mizer estate.