This work ships from the United States.
The present work exhibits what photographer and activist Mel Roberts used to describe the spirit of 1960s and 1970s California. The visual freedom expressed by Roberts, as an openly gay man in a time of oblique censorship, has inspired a tolerance for homoerotic portraiture. Here, Roberts depicts his friend Rich Thomson in Indio, California, a desert resort town commonly referred to as “the Hub of the Valley” and highly emblematic of what the Golden State offers.
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Mel Roberts (1923-2007) was an American photographer and activist who captured the spirit of California Dream that lured thousands of gay men to the Golden State in search of freedom and opportunity after the second world war. Unlike other physique photographers, Roberts’ subjects were not the perfectly proportioned bodybuilders, hustlers, or professional models common in the magazines of the time. His models were natural “everyday” young men who Roberts, first and foremost, had to know personally before photographing. The visual freedom expressed by Roberts, as an openly gay man in a time of oblique censorship, has highly inspired a tolerance for homoerotic portraiture.