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 Eugene Durieu and his studies of the male nude, created under the direction of painter Eugene 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.
Allen Ellenzweig's long, thorough text is a model of scholarship that succeeds in interweaving the evolution of gay culture and how it related to changes in the culture at large, with art history. Los Angeles Times [A] handsome volume... stimulating and highly readable.Oxford Art JournalOxford Art JournalOxford Art Journal Oxford Art Journal An important contribution to the understanding of contemporary gay expression and sexual politics... A seriously researched and broadly conceived study of the subject. Highly recommended.Choice Choice
Allen Ellenzweig is an arts critic and cultural commentator currently researching the life of twentieth-century photographer George Platt Lynes. He is a contributing writer to the Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide and has published in Art in America, PASSION: The Magazine of Paris, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, and the online magazine, TABLET. He teaches in the Writing Program at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York. George Stambolian (1938--1991) was professor of French at Wellesley University and editor of Twentieth Century French Fiction: Essays for Germaine Bree and, with Elaine Marks, Homosexualities and French Literature: Cultural Contexts/Critical Texts.