My introduction to the new pictorial book HAIR from Bruno Gmuender was noted – and quoted, in the headline for the review – in an Amazon Top 10 Reviewer review.
“To love hair is human; to fur-give is divine.”
Hair: Hairy Men in Gay Art (Hardcover)
Of the many successful books Bruno Gmünder Verlag GmbH has produced HAIR is likely one of the most original. In this appreciation for hirsute men the introductions by Ron J. Suresha and Jim Kempster set the tone by summoning the past century’s view of the ‘presentable male’, traversing the days when natural appearance was in order and progressing through the stage when gleaming shiny bodied weight lifters graced the magazines, to the latter part of the century when shaving the hair of models took center spot, to today, when there is a combination of camps of those who appreciate the hairy chest and arms of some of the popular actors and those who prefer the near marble state of the models who shave every hair every place.
What makes this book a pleasure to read and observe is the mixture of photography with illustration and with frank cartoons, such as those made famous by Tom of Finland. Among the many fine photographers represented here by their more unshaven models are Dylan Rosser, Tom Bianchi, Joe Oppedisano, Felix Drobek, Jim Kempster himself, and Jeff Palmer as the better known ones, given space along side the very creative photographers Burt Sun, Isauro Cairo, Joan Crisol, Bubba Clicks, and Vincent Keith — to mention only a few. In the field of raunch art, beside that of Tom of Finland, are both back and white and full color images by ‘The Hun’, Sepp of Vienna, Charlie Hunter, Harvey Redding, Rafael Lopez, Xavier Gicquel, and Fred Bisonnes. Artists, in film and in drawing, are from around the world and represent some of the most entertaining statements on the subject that have been collected.
There is humor in abundance here, as well as a lot of eroticism, mixed with some very beautiful photographic images of models who shun the razor. It makes a big impact and will definitely be a collector’s item for Bears and those who love them. A fascinating and edgy book, beautifully designed and produced. Grady Harp, June 10
Ron Jackson Suresha is an editor, anthologist, and writer. He is considered an authority on emergent queer masculinities, in particular the subcultures of gay and bi male Bears and of male bisexuality.
For Ron's service to the bear community, he was named "Bear of the Year" 2008.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Suresha attended the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, 1976-8), where he studied creative writing, and Vista College (Berkeley, Cal., 1989-92), where he studied American Sign Language. For more than two decades, he has worked as a freelance proofreader for trade book publishers such as Shambhala Publications. He was married in October 2004 to Rocco Russo. He is also a licensed Justice of the Peace in Connecticut, an ordained minister, ULC, and a member of the New London Green Party.
Nonfiction works include Bears on Bears: Interviews & Discussions; Bi Men: Coming Out (coeditor, with Pete Chvany); Bisexual Perspectives on the Life and Work of Alfred C. Kinsey (editor).
His latest book is The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin: Stories, jests, and donkey tales of the beloved Persian folk hero, published by Lethe Press.
View all posts by Ron Suresha
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