FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The First Exhibition, Selected Works from 1945 1969
July 29 September 11, 2004
Reception Saturday, July 31st, 5 9pm
3830 Main St., Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 838-0609, fax (310) 838-0610
Web site, <http://western-project.com>
Bob Mizer, Vince Gironda, circa 1950s,
silver gelatin print, 20 x 16 inches, edition of 10.
Western Project is proud to present the first solo exhibition by Bob Mizer. Perhaps the most influential twentieth century photographer of the male physique, Mizer is also the most under-recognized. His photography was a seedbed for a myriad of image makers, both amateur and professional - such as Robert Mapplethorpe, David Hockney, Jim French, Bruce Weber and Andy Warhol. Using home made sets, or light and slide projections, the artist prefigured what would later become constructed photography in the early 1980s. Mizer also produced the widely circulated mens magazine, Physique Pictorial, which introduced and promoted the artists, Quaintance and Tom of Finland to the world at large. By producing Physique Pictorial, Mizer infiltrated/flooded American culture with images of men and a fantastic spectrum of masculinity. Working out of his house in Los Angeles, Mizer created his legendary studio, Athletic Model Guild, part business, part watering hole and wayward house for youths, but primarily ground zero for the new era of male imagery. With a knowledge of art history and film, Mizers work was meticulous, intelligent, humorous, and eloquent a language that could only come from the mid-century, golden age of Southern California. With out a doubt, Mizer must now truly be counted as a father of the sexual revolution. It is not ironic that the male eroticism in todays Abercrombie and Fitch advertisements, was born in the 1940s in a garage in Los Angeles.
What distinguished his images was the quality of obsession (as Picasso was to women); Mizer was unapologetically a fan of men - from his homemade sets to the handmade costumes - Mizer was the ultimate fan of the male form. As a pioneer of modern gay erotica, the artist worked nearly fifty years, photographing over ten thousand models, and producing just under one million black and white, and color images. Western Project will be exhibiting a selected group of photographs from the first half of Mizers career, along with props, costumes, collages and set pieces from the AMG studio. The exhibition is intended as an introduction to a history of images - of primary information, aesthetically and socially important to the nature of who we are, and what we culturally value today.
For more information and images, please contact the gallery at 310-838-0609, or www.western-project.com <http://www.western-project.com>