The Male Nudes.
Photographs by George Platt Lynes.
Rizzoli Publishers, New York, 2011. 256 pp., 200 black & white illustrations, 10x12".
The elegant male nude photographs of George Platt Lynes, many never before published, from a newly discovered archive of negatives. George Platt Lynes was the preeminent celebrity portraitist of his day, shooting for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and creating distinctive photographs of iconic cultural figures such as Diana Vreeland, Salvador Dalí, and Orson Welles. But he also produced a separate body of work, kept largely hidden during his lifetime: photographs of the male nude. Many of these photos were shot in the studio and, like his fashion and dance work, were painstakingly posed and lit. They have a cinematic allure that evokes 1940s Hollywood and the lost era of New York’s café society. Many seem to illustrate some unwritten mythology. Others reveal private obsessions of the photographer, who was always alert to the sculptural qualities of a young man at his most vital. This is the only Platt Lynes book to focus on the male nude images in a comprehensive and carefully considered manner. It is the first book to be published with the cooperation of the artist’s estate, which has provided unprecedented access to institutional and private collections, including the Kinsey Institute and the Guggenheim Museum. The result: a trove of unpublished images that are sure to cause a sensation.