May 11, 2017

Romero Britto's Gay Art and Conservative Politics

Brazilian-born artist Romero Britto brings pop art into the 21st century with his instantly recognizable style of interlocking, brightly-colored patterns.  His work has appeared in over 100 museums and galleries around the world; his public art is on display in New York, Berlin, Paris, and Brazil; he has designed ads for dozens of companies, from Disney to Absolut Vodka.

His work is mostly "cute", puppies and kittens and children.  But there's some of gay interest, like this nude torso and penis.

And this bulging beach boy.

A lot of hetero-romance, but at least one gay couple.

Politically conservative, he designed the art for ultra-homophobic Jeb Bush's presidential bid in 2016.  But paradoxically, he also designed the art for this mass gay wedding in Atlanta in 2015.

Although rather flamboyant in real life, he has been married to a woman since 1988, and has a son, Brendan.

Who worked for Hillary.

May 9, 2017

The Navy Pre-Flight Training School: World War II Beefcake

In February 1942, just at the start of U.S. involvement in World War II, St. Mary's College in California was chosen as one of four sites for a Navy Pre-Flight Training School, where new recruits would get four weeks of basic training.

The Navy took over some of the campus buildings and built others, and in July the camp opened.  It was operational until 1946.

 Recruits received military training and took academic classes (mathematics, physics, military law) and athletics (boxing, swimming, and football).  One of the football instructors was future president Gerald Ford.

Upon entry, they were photographed in their underwear -- front, rear, side.  A number of the photographs have been recovered and posted on the internet.

They only give initials, so it will be virtually impossible to track down these guys and find out what happened to them later in life.

We will have to be content with glimpses into the beefcake and bulges of the past.

Martin, J.D. September 7, 1942

Beckman, F.A. August 24, 1942

DeMaria, M.  Oct 20, 1942

Pizzuto, M.A. Oct 27, 1942

Dow, L. M.,  Nov 4, 1942

Smith,E.S. Dec 29, 1942

Dean, D.A. February 9, 1943

Schultze, R.I., October 13, 1943

Carrell, T. R.  June 6, 1944

McMahon R. October 27, 1942.

Brown, R. R. June 22, 1944

The Closet Professor has an article about the training school

This article with two nude photos is on Tales of West Hollywood

May 8, 2017

Helmut Riedmeier, German Bodybuilder with Something Extra

Helmut Riedmeier was born in Munich on May 14th, 1944, during World War II, and took up bodybuilding as a teenager.

He won the Junior Mr. Germany award in 1964 and Mr. Germany and Mr. Europe in 1965.

In 1966 he came in second place in Mr. Europe, losing to a young Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He began posing for physique magazines as a teenager.  After he moved to London in 1968, he did some nude porn-style shoots for Basil Clavering of Hussar Studios.  The surviving photos make good use of his "something extra."

No sex scenes have survived, if any existed, but there is some homoerotic buddy-bonding.

Although Helmut never achieved the worldwide fame of Arnold Schwarzeneggar or Franco Columbu, he maintained a strong competitive presence during the 1970s and 1980s, placing in Mr. Europe 5 times and Mr. Universe twice.

Meanwhile, according to one website, he had a nightclub act, performing nude as "White Heat."

I haven't been able to find out much about his later life, but in 2001 he won the International British Master Championship, and in 2006 he competed in the German Master Championships, at the age of 62.

He's retired, living in Munich, and still buffed at age 73.

There are nude photos on Tales of West Hollywood.

May 7, 2017

Beefcake and Bonding in British Boys' Annuals

From the 1930s through the 1980s, British boys spent Christmas day unwrapping and reading "annuals," thick hardback books with stories and pictures derived from weekly story papers: Hotspur, Champion, Knockout, Perfect Book for Boys, Best Book for Boys, dozens of titles.

There were also annuals for girls and children, but the boys' annuals were notable for two reasons.

1. Shirtless and semi-nude covers and interior illustrations.  Hundreds of muscular teenage boys and men on display, many more than in the American adventure boys series.

They were playing sports, camping, fighting monsters. They were alone and in pairs.  Their muscles glistened in the Christmas firelight.

2. The stories inside did not involve the dating, romances, and overall girl-craziness that obsessed American teen stories in the 1950s and 1960s. They were about boys meeting, being rescued by, and establishing permanent relations with other boys and men.

For instance, in a story in Monster Book for Boys ("monster" means "big"), sixteen-year old Keith is living quietly on a farm in Devon, longing for “companionship and fun,” when he stumbles upon Count Max Von Staubnitz, “a pleasant-looking, rather dandified young man" (i.e., he's gay).  

After an acquaintanceship lasting less than five minutes, the Count invites Keith to come along on his quest to retrieve a secret formula from enemy agents, resulting in many last-minute rescues and many opportunities to praise Keith’s “youthful muscles” and “muscles like steel" (i.e., he thinks that Keith is hot).  Then, when the crisis is resolved, the Count, blushing and stammering like a shy schoolboy, invites Keith to live on his estate in Central Europe (i.e., he wants a permanent partner, not just a fling). 

Unfortunately, you couldn't get them in the United States, so I didn't know that they existed until I was grown up and browsing on ebay.

But gay British boys certainly had an advantage.  While their American cousins were making do with comic book advertisements and Jolly Green Giant commercials, they could gaze at the real deal.
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