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Art of George Quaintance

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Art of George Quaintance Cover

ISBN13: 9783836507325
ISBN10: 3836507323
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Publisher Comments:

Physique painter as Renaissance man: The flamboyant life and forbidden art of George Quaintance
 
George Quaintance was an artist ahead of his time, a man who forged several successful careers, yet never enjoyed mainstream fame. Had he been born a few decades later, we might know him today as a multi-tasking celebrity stylist, as a coach on Dancing with the Stars, or perhaps as the fine artist he aspired to be.

But Quaintance, who died in 1957, lived and worked during an era when homosexuality was repressed, when his joyful paintings and physique photos could not depict a penis. In an era before Stonewall, the sexual revolution, gay rights and the AIDS crisis, Quaintance and his high-camp erotic art existed in a demi-monde of borderline legality.

Half a century on, the masculine fantasy world created by Quaintance, populated by Latin lovers, lusty cowboys and chiseled ranch hands, retains its seductive allure. His highly prized paintings—numbering just 55—rarely come to auction, instead selling privately for undisclosed sums. As the preeminent ’male physique’ artist of the 1940s and early ’50s, his work for Physique Pictorial, Demi-Gods and Body Beautiful inspired a generation of artists like Tom of Finland, Harry Bush, Etienne, and other, lesser stars in their constellation.

Raised on a farm in rural Virginia, Quaintance traveled a fascinating path of reinvention: at various points in his life he was a Vaudeville dancer, the favored portraitist of Washington’s smart set, and a celebrity hair designer—though he never actually touched hair.  

TASCHEN’s Quaintance traces his remarkable life story and reintroduces his colorful, kitschy and culturally resonant paintings—works that made George Quaintance the most popular and successful physique artist of his time, and one of its most intriguing figures.
 
Text in English, French, and German

Synopsis:

The flamboyant life and forbidden art of George Quaintance

George Quaintance was an artist ahead of his time, a man who forged several successful careers, yet never enjoyed mainstream fame. Had he been born a few decades later, we might know him today as a multi-tasking celebrity stylist, as a coach on Dancing with the Stars, or perhaps as the fine artist he aspired to be.

But Quaintance, who died in 1957, lived and worked during an era when homosexuality was repressed, when his joyful paintings and physique photos could not depict a penis. In an era before Stonewall, the sexual revolution, gay rights and the AIDS crisis, Quaintance and his high-camp erotic art existed in a demi-monde of borderline legality.

About the Author

Dian Hanson produced a variety of men's magazines from 1976 to 2001, including Juggs, Outlaw Biker and Leg Show, before becoming TASCHEN's Sexy Book editor. Her 60+ books for TASCHEN include The Art of Pin-up and Psychedelic Sex. She lives in Los Angeles.Reed Massengill is a photographer and writer whose 1994 Portrait of a Racist was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He is the author/editor of several books, including Self-Exposure: The Male Nude Self-Portrait and Uncovered: Rare Vintage Male Nudes.

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Grady Harp, December 7, 2010 (view all comments by Grady Harp)
Historically signifcant Monograph

TASCHEN Books, under the editorship of Dian Hanson and with the exceptional writing of famous photographer cum writer Reed Massengill, has published a very large, heavy, well produce monograph on the artist George Quaintance, in many ways the progenitor of Touko Laaksonen, better known professionally as Tom of Finland. Quaintance (1902 - 1957) may not be a name easily recognized in fine art circles but his importance lies in his brave depiction of models found in physique magazines in a time (pre-Stonewall) when such art was 'undercover' and very marginalized. But public opinion did not stop Quaintance from becoming well known visually: his 'cartoons' were kitschy renderings of hypertestosteroned men in macho settings - out on the Wild West arena where cowboys mixed with equally muscle bound men of both American Indian and Mexican origin.

To study Quaintance's works closely (and this book offers ample opportunity to do just that) results in accepting that his artistic technique was less than polished and that his main driver was to produce images that were scintillating and erotic. Massengill's narrative explores the background of this artist and shares the facts that his models (such as Victor Garcia and Angel Avila) were his life partners du jour. The colorful life of George Quaintance is woven through the commentary on his art in a way that allows the reader to understand why it is important that this monograph be published. Quaintance was in many ways a pioneer in graphic art the same way Wilhelm von Gloeden (1856-1931) and Bob Mizer (1922 - 1992) were to photography of the male nude. This is another quality book published by TASCHEN, a company that keeps us thinking and observing what others fear.

Grady Harp
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Product Details

ISBN:
9783836507325
Author:
Massengill, Reed
Publisher:
Taschen
Editor:
Hanson, Dian
Author:
Hanson, Dian
Subject:
Gay Studies
Subject:
Subjects & Themes - Erotica
Subject:
General Art
Subject:
Gay and Lesbian-General
Subject:
Art : Subjects & Themes - Erotica
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20101231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
156
Dimensions:
15.60 x 11.40 in 8.00 lb

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Artists
Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Locked Case
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Subjects and Themes » Erotica
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » General

Art of George Quaintance New Hardcover
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Product details 156 pages Taschen - English 9783836507325 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

The flamboyant life and forbidden art of George Quaintance

George Quaintance was an artist ahead of his time, a man who forged several successful careers, yet never enjoyed mainstream fame. Had he been born a few decades later, we might know him today as a multi-tasking celebrity stylist, as a coach on Dancing with the Stars, or perhaps as the fine artist he aspired to be.

But Quaintance, who died in 1957, lived and worked during an era when homosexuality was repressed, when his joyful paintings and physique photos could not depict a penis. In an era before Stonewall, the sexual revolution, gay rights and the AIDS crisis, Quaintance and his high-camp erotic art existed in a demi-monde of borderline legality.

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