Bob Mizer (1922-1992) was born ninety years ago today. The years that formed my tastes in men were 1956 to 1966, and Mizer was the photographer who captured the look that enamored me through my childhood on Air Force bases in Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Japan. His films and photographs were not known to me until later, of course, but it's through his aesthetic that I re-imagine the men who surrounded me in childhood. At age 23, he founded the Athletic Model Guild, a studio featuring naked and nearly naked young men wrestling and roughhousing--or, at any rate, posing as such. His influential magazine, Physique Pictorial, started in 1951. In art he influenced almost everything I love: from Bruce Weber to Robert Mapplethorpe, from Francis Bacon to Andy Warhol. Without him and other pioneers like him, it's hard to imagine that gay underground wrestling would be where it is today.
|David Selhime and Wally Shilicutt|
|Jim Collette and Tommy Evans|