Naked Men Too: Liberating the Male Nude 1050-2000 by David Leddick

Yes, there was a sequel to the male nude an it has a similar structure: A banal Quentin Crisp introduction; chapters in relation to period (from 1950-2000), a contemporary update on the picture’s subjects, here often unnecessary as those pictured are often very famous indeed (Yves St Laurent), movie stars (Charlton Heston, Burt Lancaster, Joe Dallesandro, Rupert Everett, Maxwell Caulfield) or later on in the book, porn stars (Jeff Stryker, Ryan Idol, Aiden Shaw. Casey Donovan, Peter Berlin) The racial representation in this is better. But the book feels partial and idiosyncratic; what Leddick likes and could get rather than what was significant or influential: still some Platt Lynes from the 50s (he died in ’55. I only have the 2020 Kindle reprint of INTIMATE STRANGERS which shockingly doesn’t refer to an original publication date –or I can’t find it — but clearly that research fed these coffee table books), a bit of Bob Mizer but less of that whole 1950s Physique Pictorial genre than is warranted, no Tom of Finland, no Bruce Weber, no Herb Ritts. And why is Helmut Newton in this collection? We do see Mapplethorpe pictured and there are some striking Pierre and Gilles photographs and a lot of gorgeous Tom Bianchi photos but it doesn’t cohere as a work of history or analysis. It all gets more explicit, sleazier, and even less satisfying as it progresses, and this in spite of the beauty of particular images. It did introduce me to new photographers and it did win a the Lambda Award and it was a long time ago. But I wouldn’t buy it again.


Rupert Everett by Greg Gorman
Aiden Shaw by Pierre et Gilles
Peter Hinwood by Helmut Newton

José Arroyo

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