Naked men in their forties
Those words were spoken by one of the men I photographed in the nude. But they could almost have been my own. You see, I have been chasing what it is to be a woman - and a man - for the last few years.
Cookies help us deliver our services.
Miss Rosen tells the story of George Platt Lynes, whose secret photographs were saved from destruction by the Kinsey Institute. Tales from another time The rest where destroyed by Lynes himself, just prior to his death. Kinsey, for his part, did not look at the work as art but as artefact: evidence of sexual behaviour and fantasy in postwar America.
Lynes, on the other hand, recognised the work as the most important in his highly successful commercial and fine art career, a career that started by pure serendipity. Before attending Yale, his parents sent him to Paris inwhere he quickly fell in with cafe society, spending time with Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Marc Chagall, writer Glenn Wescott and curator Monroe Wheeler with the last two men he would have a triangular love affair for more than a decade.
In Paris, he began taking photographs, as an amateur might: with no intention other than recording the moment for himself. Upon his return to the United States, Lynes dropped out of Yale and opened a bookstore in Englewood, New Jersey in and continued his habit of photographing his famous friends, displaying the photographs in the store to give it an air of panache.
More from women
By incorporating elements of Surrealism to his pictures, Lynes aspired to elevate his photographs to the canon alongside masters from ancient times and the Renaissance — when the male nude was revered, rather than reviled, by the powers that be. He was known for distinctive lighting and wonderful use of props.
With his lighting, he could style the photographs to make the clothing feel contemporary and showed things off in their best light. After completing his work on the Mythology series, Lynes continued making nudes sans themes.
They were a necessary part of his artistic process, though he was forced to keep them hidden from view — despite the accolades all his other work received.
When Lynes learned he had lung cancer just months before his untimely death at the age of 48, he destroyed his archive — perhaps concerned about allowing anyone to be exposed and persecuted in Red Scare America. With the integration of his male nudes into his larger body of work, a new generation of artists — including Robert Mapplethorpe and Herb Ritts — recognised Lynes as a pioneer and a guiding light.
Dazed media sites. The Another Man world has moved to AnOthermag. Gallery George Platt Lynes.