Growing up in the 1950s, Tom Bianchi would head into downtown Chicago and pick up 25-cent “physique” magazines at newsstands. In one such magazine, he found a photograph of bodybuilder Glenn Bishop on Fire Island. “Fire Island sounded exotic, perhaps a name made up by the photographer,” he recalls in the preface to his latest monograph. “I had no idea it was a real place. Certainly, I had no idea then that it was a place I would one day call home.”
In 1970, fresh out of law school, Bianchi began traveling to New York, and was invited to spend a weekend at Fire Island Pines, where he encountered a community of gay men. Using an SX-70 Polaroid camera, Bianchi documented his friends’ lives in the Pines, amassing an image archive of people, parties and private moments. These images, published here for the first time, and accompanied by Bianchi’s moving memoir of the era, record the birth and development of a new culture. Soaked in sun, sex, camaraderie and reverie, Fire Island Pines conjures a magical bygone era. DAMIANI
Tom Bianchi: Fire Island Pines
Edited by Ben Smales. Introduction by Edmund White. Text by Tom Bianchi.
Featured image is reproduced from Tom Bianchi: Fire Island Pines.
BUY IT ON AMAZON
An excerpt from the VICE interview with Bianchi:
VICE: And you happened to be there with a fancy, new Polaroid camera, too.
BIANCHI: I was a lawyer at Columbia Pictures at the time. At an executive conference in Miami, we were given an SX-70 Polaroid camera. It was this little plastic thing, which I took to Fire Island a little while later and started taking pictures of my friends. At the time, a lot of people were still in the closet so, as you can understand, they were extremely wary of having their picture taken. So, the important thing about this camera was that it allowed me to take the picture and a few minutes later put it out on the table for people to take a look. It made everyone immediately more comfortable and I very quickly formed the intention to show the world what a cool, amazing place the capital of Queerdom was. Or the provincial part of it [laughs].
VICE: Leafing through the book, I can’t help but notice that everyone in the pictures is unbelievable hot.
BIANCHI: Well, the reason is twofold. Gay men in my generation were called pansies or poofs – we had been raised to have very negative feelings about ourselves. It was around our time that more and more guys began to discover gyms, too. And the more guys went from ordinary looking men to “Oh, my God, look at that stud,” the more of a no-brainer it became that you had to be as close to perfect as possible. Suddenly this really beautiful community of men emerged, and they all boarded planes, trains, or buses to Fire Island every weekend.
At the same time, I wanted my sexual partners to be really beautiful, hot guys. And I never wanted anyone to think I was using my camera to seduce people, so for the most part the intimate pictures are of people I had relations with.
VICE: And then HIV came along. The sense that I got from reading your book is that the disease set the gay rights movement back quite a few years.
BIANCHI: I think it’s the opposite. I think what happened was that we were kids, partying along, thinking we were untouchable, immortal. AIDS forced us to grow up.
MORE PICS AFTER THE JUMP…
UPDATE: Sissydude follower Bryan did a little research and the artist name is actually Bertha M. Ingle. Thanks Bryan!
Bertha May Ingle was born April 13, 1878 in Puslinch Township, Ontario,
and died October 20, 1962 in Toronto. She left hundreds of paintings,
drawings, and sketches created during a long and productive life.
I want to express so much more than just the surface effects,
and they are difficult enough, you know. Can anything be
much more elusive than light and movement? But I love
them well enough I think never to grow tired of trying.
[1930, in a letter to a friend]
OLD TRAILER.COM: David Holmes, President of “Harry and David” (mail-order fruit baskets and gifts) was looking for ways to keep his workers busy during the January to July “off season”. Capitalizing on his life-long interest in travel trailers and modern design, he decided to employ his skilled workers in the production of a new travel trailer with a very modern and daring design. Holmes’ new “Holiday House” travel trailers were based on the standard aluminum skin over a wood frame design, but the overall styling was very progressive and “space age” and a huge departure from the familiar “canned ham” styles being produced by most other travel trailer manufacturers. Holiday House trailer production began at the Medford, Oregon plant on November 2, 1959, and reached full production level in February 1960. For 1960, Holiday House production included 17ft. and 19ft. models as well as a dual axle 24ft model. For model year 1961, the company strengthened the chassis, enlarged the bathrooms and lengthened the 17ft and 19ft models by one foot. Although well made and very stylish, Holiday House travel trailers were priced higher than most of the competition, so less than 200 units were manufactured for the 1960 and 1961 model years, before production ceased in January 1962.
SISSYDUDE LOVES & REALLY WANTS Lumberjack with Cherub Tattoos by Mimi Kirchner. He looks so HOT GAY… and his pretty blue eyes are staring into my soul. Seriously.
I always love sharing Mimi Kirchner’s awesome rugged stuffed dolls. Here are her NEW ones. Many different lumberjacks & a chunky traveling musician too! I really want to get this Lumberjack with the cherub tattoos. Can one be in love with a fabric man? Yes I can. CHECK OUT Mimi’s etsy store HERE. Prices range from $292.15 -$318.71 CAD.
Check out the other men after the jump…
Winner of “Best Interview” at Hot Docs in Toronto.
Short documentary made for the 5 day Documentary Challenge about Mark Mitchell, a costume designer from Seattle, WA.
Mark Mitchell’s burial line will be released this fall 2013
SISSYDUDE LOVES: mimi kirchner has got a whole bunch of her tattoo’d fuzz-face dolls for SALE! (prices $250.00 – $300.00)
DOLL INFO HERE @ ETSY!
Kurd Men For Equality “Being a woman is not a way for humiliation or punishment.” (via Greg K… via BUZZFEED)
Kurdish men are dressing in women’s clothing in response to the punishment given to a convicted man earlier this month. He was paraded down the streets of Marivan in a woman’s dress in order to humiliate him.
The campaign “Kurd Men for Equality” launched on FACEBOOK in protest of this punishment.
In response to the judge’s sentence, a local feminist organization, the “Marivan Womens’ Community”, held a protest. One hundred women took to the streets of Marivan in a campaign for gender equality. In solidarity with the women’s protest, men began to post photos of themselves in women’s clothing.
studio visit @ YATZER
Check out his WEBITE HERE!
GODDESS is a designer streetwear label. Founded in 2012 by designer David Siferd, GODDESS seeks to break barriers of stereotype and biases and provide a means of individual expression through the use of clothing.
In 1966, at the height of his powers, “supermarionation” creator Gerry Anderson came up with a bold concept for a new television series. He had already designed the puppets and with the recent success of Thunderbirds behind him, it looked certain that the new project would be given the green light.
But there was one problem: Anderson’s idea was utterly mad.
The new series was given a unanimous thumbs down by television executives, but undeterred, Anderson turned his idea into a franchise, spawning 154 issues of a comic and several books. The whole sorry episode lasted less than three years but it was long enough to screw-up a generation of under 5s.
Welcome to the world of “Candy and Andy” READ THE FULL STORY @ THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY
the story (1969) A filmmaker, Homer, records his young son, Matt (Groening), telling an imaginative story to his two younger sisters, Lisa and Maggie. Records the spontaneous tale with all the interruptions, comments and reactions of the sister.
“This is the sort of film that I love finding here on the site. A young boy, Matt, tells his baby sister Maggie a bedtime story about Matt and Lisa as they met various animals through a walk in the forest. This is clearly a spontaneous story composed by the young boy, but it has a flash of the humor and keen observation that would mark his later work. His father, Homer, then takes the story and matches it to shots of the kids in the forest in the fall and animals at the zoo. I think this was shot during their time in Portland, OR because of the inclusion of a “geoduck” (pronounced gooey-duck), here playful represented by a reflection of a duck on water, but in reality a phallic looking mollusk native to the Pacific Northwest. The story is charmingly funny and the fact that the narrator would go on to become famous for other things makes this film that much more interesting.” – Wilford B. Wolf
via MOTHER JONES (written by Maddie Oatman): Vivian Maier’s massive collection of street photography remained hidden from the public eye until a Chicago realtor named John Maloof stumbled across boxes of her negatives at an auction house in 2007. After amassing more negatives and finally googling her, he learned that she had made her living as a nanny and had died a few days earlier at age 83.
She left an oeuvre of intimate glimpses of people caught in everyday moments, as seen in this 2011 Mother Jones collection of her work.
Now, Maloof has joined with Charles Siskel and Submarine Entertainment to produce Finding Vivian Maier, a documentary due out later this year. The film draws on Super-8 footage shot by Maier as well as interviews with friends, family, and neighbors that expose more details of Maier’s life and work.
Discovering the real Maier is a challenge; as one of her friends put it, “she was a closed person” and also because most people she knew “had no idea she took photographs.” About the film, one friend insists Maier “would’ve hated every minute of it. She would never have let this happen.” Yet, says Siskel, “Vivian’s story is as powerful as her art” and he hopes the documentary “will bring her the recognition she deserves.”
Read more about Maier in Alex Kotlowitz’s essay “The Best Street Photographer You’ve Never Heard Of.”
“In 1983, Morrissey delivered himself from the clutches of a cruel fate. Life had fashioned a spartan, crushingly monotonous, biscuit-coloured pattern for him. His life was hugely unelaborate. He turned to his own contemplations and he sought expression in the ideology and ritual of his own life. He breathed for art. He relied and depended on nobody but himself. I can tell you that at the age of 17 he was possessed of great intellect and humour. His presence was entirely unassuming, but he could lay people waste with laughter at a sentence, effortlessly.”
— James Maker.
LAST FM: RAYMONDE, Mancunian 4 piece, UK rock/pop: James Maker, Phil Huish, Leslie Westlake & Derek Thompson (later Simon Hoare & Peter Thomas).
1986 debut release on Rough Trade: “Raymonde”/”These Boots Are Made For Walking”. Thereafter, a series of gigs ensued at mainly student venues. “Jennifer Wants” appeared on a ‘Record Mirror’ ep. Lazy journalism, linking the band to the influence of The Smiths, was exposed by virtue of Raymonde being invited as contrasting support act on tour, that October.
Subsequent releases on Blue Guitar (chrysalis): “Stop Kicking My Heart Around”/”Fool of Fortune”/”Love, Sex, Security”, & an 11 track LP “Babelogue”. A 15 date British tour (supporting the Bolshoi), coincided with launch of “Solid State Soul/”Eulogy To Harvey Milk” in Oct ‘87. “Destination Breakdown”/Dyke On A Bum Trip” was ‘swansong’ in 1988 – Alas, no more!
MORRISSEY: GIDE THE RIPPER by James Maker
MORRISSEY : Gide The Ripper
AFTER THE JUMP…
Dir: Jonathan Daniel Federico
Cateura, Paraguay is a town essentially built on top of a landfill. Garbage collectors browse the trash for sellable goods, and children are often at risk of getting involved with drugs and gangs. When orchestra director Szaran and music teacher Favio set up a music program for the kids of Cateura, they soon have more students than they have instruments. That changed when Szaran and Favio were brought something they had never seen before: a violin made out of garbage. Today, there’s an entire orchestra of assembled instruments, now called The Recycled Orchestra.
In Five Days, Jacob Tobia Will Run Across the Brooklyn Bridge in Stilettos for Homeless LGBT Youth (via towleroad)
Duke University junior Jacob Tobia is putting on his best heels this Saturday for NYC’s Ali Forney Center, which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
TOBIA TELLS TOWLEROAD:
Many of you know me for my gender-bending style and fabulous high-heels, and to help out the Ali Forney Center, I’m putting them to good use. If I can raise $10,000 by Saturday, December 15th, I will run across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge–which is over a mile long–in 5″ stilettos. So if you want to see me do the impossible, donate to my campaign and encourage your friends to do the same. 100% of donations will go directly to the Ali Forney Center, and all donations are fully tax deductible.