This is the last in a series of excerpts from the biographical introduction to Brooklyn Boys, the new monograph on Danny Fitzgerald and Les Demi Dieux.
With the recent resurgence of interest in the works of Fitzgerald’s contemporaries like Mel Roberts, Bruce Bellas, and Walter Kundzicz of Champion Studio, male nude photography from the early 1960s is being reevaluated for its history, technique, and artistic value. Where the available images by Roberts, Bellas, and Kundzicz seldom transcend the limitations of the early ’60s soft-core and “beefcake” magazines that published them, Fitzgerald’s body of work includes cityscapes, landscapes, and portraiture, giving his nudes a larger context and inviting a wider aesthetic dialogue. Read More
This is the fourth in a series of excerpts from the biographical introduction to Brooklyn Boys, the new monograph on Danny Fitzgerald and Les Demi Dieux.
In the early 1960s, Danny Fitzgerald and Richard Bennett also began promoting Fitzgerald’s photography under the studio name “Les Demi Dieux.” Working under an assumed name was not uncommon in the 1940s and ’50s when photographers were persecuted for their work. Bob Mizer had the Athletic Model Guild. Don Whitman, the Western Photography Guild. Bruce Bellas called himself “Bruce of Los Angeles,” and Douglas Juleff, “Douglas of Detroit.”
So, throughout the early ’60s, male nudes by Les Demi Dieux appeared regularly on the covers and pages of slickly designed Joe Weider publications like The Young Physique, Muscles a Go-Go, Demi Gods, and Era (the publisher’s compilation volume celebrating the best photographers of the 1960s). Les Demi Dieux photographs featured popular models like Bennett, Albanese, and Orest, and lent Weider’s publications a visual impact and artistic quality that surpassed the average male physique magazines of the period.