online Global Art Annual
   31.03.05     31.03.06


Country: USA  
Dianora Niccolini

    1.THE MALE: #18, photography©     2.THE MALE: #48, photography©     3.THE MALE: #34, photography©      4.THE MALE: #28, photography©






   3.    4.
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I am a fine art photographer and considered by many to be the female pioneer of the male nude in photography, a trend setter. Photographing the male nude now is commonplace, but a quarter of a century ago it was a different matter. It was not considered an art form but rather was relegated to homoerotic pornography. Homosexual men had always photographed their lovers (and other men willing to pose for them) since the onset of photography. Not too many women dared  If they did, few showed their work publicly. However, gay magazines were full of photographic images of sexy men. Thus, the male nude became stigmatized! Fine art galleries refused to exhibit male nude photographs until I had my male nude exhibit in 1975 at The Third Eye Gallery in NYC. Luckily it was reviewed in the Sunday New York Times by Gene Thornton. It was a favorable review! The male nude in photography was finally legitimized and accepted by the art community. The fact that I was a woman helped to de-stigmatize it. Robert Mapplethorpe surfaced several years later and his association with Sam Wagstaff, a very well respected collector of photography, really helped him a lot. He arranged a simultaneous exhibition of Mapplethorpe’s photographs at the 3 most prestigious places in the NYC Art scene - The Robert Samuel gallery, the Miller gallery and the International Center of Photography. This propelled Mapplethorpe to a super star status. Unfortunately for me, his photographs looked very similar to mine. Coincidence? I don’t think so! When I met Mapplethorpe in 1978, he knew who I was.