My life as a photographer began in the early sixties. I landed my first job as a medical photographer almost at the same time that I met the world renowned photographer, Arthur Fellig. Weegee, as he was called, was a lecherous but kindly old man constan...
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My life as a photographer began in the early sixties. I landed my first job as a medical photographer almost at the same time that I met the world renowned photographer, Arthur Fellig. Weegee, as he was called, was a lecherous but kindly old man constantly chasing young girls. I became the focus of his desire when I showed interest in his work. While I wanted to learn his photographic technique, he seemed only interested in trying to seduce me. Thus, a cat and mouse game ensued. This continued for several years until he realized that he was not going to succeed. During this time, however, I did learn a great deal from Weegee. We photographed the world trade fair in Queens together and he even allowed me to develop his film.. even after I had ruined a roll by developing it in Dektol (a paper developer). That was many, many years ago! I am now 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 . I had been exhibiting my male nudes and had received many favorable reviews in the 3 years that preceded Mapplethorpe's first male nude photographic exhibit in NYC. I continued to have photographic exhibits on an annual basis until after the publication of my second book in 1983 (MEN IN FOCUS) . By then, I was completely burned out. The death of my mother in 1981, the publication of my 2 books (WOMEN OF VISION in 1982, AND MEN IN FOCUS in 1983), establishing the Professional Women Photographers (PWP) as a viable and professional organization, and a major auction to generate money for PWP, completely wiped me out. By 1984, I decided to step down from my (unpaid) position as president of the Professional Women Photographers and decided to concentrate on making a living. By 1984, my career as a medical photographer had come to an end . It was then that I decided to go into a completely different direction. I opened up a portrait studio on 32nd. St. in NYC. My male nude photographs not only influenced Mapplethorpe but probably paved the way for the scantly clad male models in commercial advertising and the Calvin Klein avant-guard brief ads of the 80's. Commercial photographers like Bruce Weber, Herb Ritts, Nan Goldin, Greg Gorman and scores of other lesser known photographers entered the art scene in mass and began not only exhibiting, but publishing books of their male nudes. Major anthologies, however continued to include my photographs throughout the 80's and 90's -2010, and greeting cards as well as posters of my photographs of men were published and sold around the world. 13 Museums now house a considerable collection of my photographs. The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts ( FMOPA ) in Tampa, Florida is scheduled to give me a one woman exhibit of 60+ photos in late Nov. 2011