Posted 4 years ago
What can one say? The sheer chutzpah, the semiotic double-entendre, the overtly homoerotic worshiping of the male body. . . . Move over, Rockwell! Pics. 1,3 are by JC Leyendecker. Notice the hieratic, almost exact positioning with only a change of the prominent arm. The brothers shared models and techniques. The model on pic. 1 appears in a Frank Leyendecker 's cover for The Literary Digest, in the same state of undress and almost the same pose. Consider these were produced between 1900 and 1920!
Pics. 2 and 4 are by Frank, before drugs, alcohol and his brother had destroyed his creative talent. I strongly suspect a couple of influences: Italian futurism ("Ther Speed God" is a case in point. There is almost an identical Italian poster from the same period), but paramount, the "classic" photographs of nude Italian adolescent fishermen made ubiquitous throughout Europe by Baron Von Gloeden. Even Queen Victoria collected them. Ironically, most were destroyed by those worshipers of male bodies, the Nazis.
These are all large covers, 11" x 14". I remember my deceased partner and I pouring over piles of dusty old magazines until we found one of these jewels, long before the Leyendeckers had attracted any markets.
But the close collaboration must include my current partner, Abersio, who submitted to endless bickering because I wanted pictures I could then edit without too much trouble!