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Portrait of The Adonis as a Nubian




This particular illustration carries for me a good deal of personal melancholy, alongside creative euphoria around its successful execution: I had procured the source photograph upon which this illustration is based from a published compendium of the works of famed Los Angeles-photographer Bob Mizer. 

Apparently, Mr. Mizer had been a devotee of the male homoerotic form and all of its manifestations, as can be readily evidenced by the subject matter of a magazine he had produced from the 1950s-70s entitled Athletic Model Guild (AMG). 

Mizer is credited as being one of America's foremost pioneers in male homoerotica, during a period in American History wherein the very term was strictly verboten within the cultural mainstream. However, even as Mizer was (presumably) a man of extraordinary personal and professional liberality as per his own homosexuality, He hadn't been able to truly utilize men of color in the tableau of his work until after the full epoch of the sexual and socio-political revolution had imploded across America's historical consciousness in the mid-to-late 1970s. 

As a man of color myself (albeit not gay), I find it vexing that an openly gay artist like Mr. Mizer -- attempting to invest in the ramparts of a personal consciousness all but anathema for expression in an America fixed within a most puritanical moment of its history -- was still wont to allow himself to be a pawn to the sensibility of making putrifactant moral concessions...presumably in the service of that most "American" of economic vices: the patently absurd notion of ensuring a "product" already mired in the turgid maelstrom of "cultural noxiousness" be as "Mainstream" as humanly possible.

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