Mizer, Bob


American, 1922-1992


In 1945, just after the end of World War II, Los Angeles photographer Bob Mizer established the Athletic Model Guild (AMG), a studio dedicated to all-male physique photography. Mizer advertised his small beefcake photos of muscular, mostly naked young men in men’s periodicals of the time, and established his own magazine, titled Physique Pictorial. Such physique photographs were ostensibly sources for artists seeking male subjects to depict, or for body builders looking to improve their form. However, in reality the pictures were designed as soft-core pornography for gay male viewers in conservative Southern California. This alternate purpose did not escape the notice of the U.S. Postal Service, which in 1947 charged Mizer with distributing ob- scene materials through the mail. In a culture that outlawed and suppressed gay sexuality, the physique photographs provided positive images of male homoeroticism, as well as a representational ground for legitimacy and resistance.

Artworks by Mizer, Bob

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