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Shooting Men the Way We Are Now...

by Jack Fritscher

constructionDRAFT VERSIONconstruction

Written June 16, 1979, and published in Drummer 31, September 1979. As with my longer “Do-er’s” interview with Wakefield Poole, Drummer 27, February 1979, I had planned to develop a series of personality profiles modeled on the successful and very cool magazine ads for Dewar’s scotch.

            Tony Plewik, whose photos I had previously printed in Drummer, was gracious enough to go along with the content of this trial balloon that pumped Danny Lyon and a theory of gay male photography and what it does to the photographer, the man photographed, and the men looking at the pictures. This profile’s advantage graphically to Drummer was a good excuse to print ten Plewik photographs–including a self-portrait of Plewik–to entertain the readers, and to get the photographs for free, in trade for this publicity about the photographer, because Drummer could not afford to pay the going rates for all the photos and drawings needed to fill the magazine each issue.

            Upcoming “Do-er’s Profiles” were to have featured photographers such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Greg Day, Lou Thomas, Mark I. Chester, Rink, George Dureau, Biron, and Victor Arimondi, as well as artists like Rex, the Hun, Tom of Finland, and Domino; and personalities such as Bob Mizer, J. Brian, and Peter Berlin. However, when I exited Drummer, I took my “Do-er’s” feature with me and changed its format to more conventional interviews of interesting gay men and their accomplishments, and these interviews and feature articles were published in magazines like Honcho, Inches, Just Men, Man2Man, and California Action Guide, as well as in the nonfiction book, Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera.
–Jack Fritscher, 14 September 1999

The review was written June 16, 1979,
and published in Drummer 31, September 1979

Shooting Men the Way We Are Now...

by Jack Fritscher

Tony Plewik

Home: San Francisco

Age: Older than chicken, younger than beef: good veal

Profession: Photojournalist

Hobbies: San Franfreelancing portfolios, advertising, and good stough

Most Memorable Book: Danny Lyon’s Conversations with the Dead. Lyon’s book of photographs was shot is six Texas Correctional Institutions: young/booted/cigar guards on horseback; tattooed cons; weight pens; wet shower rooms; strip searches; sweat; furry blond forearms resting on iron bars of isolation cages. Lyon’s photo-essay masterpiece show Men as the Ultimate Experimental Animals.)

Latest Accomplishment: Stayin’ Alive in a hot town’s summer in the City

Quote: “The Amerindians were wrong. The camera doesn’t steal a man’s soul; it simply measures his degree of aliveness. If a man photographs as if his soul has been stolen, he had too little energy for the camera to record. He was dead before he was shot.

            Shooting a variety of men is a high pleasure. For me and for them. Especially when a high-energy man is willing to play out for my camera his secret fantasies and upfront realities.

            I search for a LOOK a man projects and try to freeze his male mystique into the authenticity of a single frame, handy at midnight.

            Men who are photographed–I shy away from professional modelles–tell me they receive high energy returns on sharing their faces, bodies, and trips with any man in the world who wants to pick up their photos to get off. That makes my work PLAY!

Profile: Shy, low key, intense, but eager in a quiet way to pop-shoot men (the way we are now) by focusing his lens on male texture, tone, and tension.

© 1979, 2004 Jack Fritscher

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