Sunday, July 15, 2012
Bob Mizer, Dennis Bell and the Athletic Model Guild
Dennis Bell recently contacted me to let me know he has a fundraising project active on Kickstarter through July 16, 2012.
Many of you readers know Bell purchased in 2003 much of the surviving negatives, prints, films, props, etc. from Bob Mizer's estate.
Mizer founded the Athletic Model Guild in 1945, operating out of his mother's house in Los Angeles, California, and published its groundbreaking magazine, Physique Pictorial, which featured photographs and artwork celebrating the male physique.
This celebration of male beauty was a shock to post-war America in the middle of the last century. Like other physique photographers in North America and Europe, Mizer was not only harassed by law-enforcement officials for creating images such as the one in this post of Forrester Millard, he served time in prison.
Fortunately, Mizer persevered to create a body of work that spans five decades. His homoerotic images of well-toned bodies seen through a particularly glamorous Hollywood lens continue to influence photographers and artists - men and women working today with artistic freedoms fought hard for them by Mizer and his contemporaries celebrating male beauty.
In 2010, Dennis Bell established the non-profit Bob Mizer Foundation, Inc. to preserve Mizer’s work and to promote and preserve the progressive and controversial photography of other artists.