SO IT BEGINS...
Vovembe 2 – January 27, 2024
This exhibit serves as the culmination of The Bob Mizer Foundation's So It Begins… exhibition series, offering a captivating exploration of Bob Mizer’s [1922-1992] late career marked by the elaborate use of brilliant color in his photography. Bob Mizer • Chromatic Mannerisms 1962-1992 unravels the profound resonances between his photography and the aesthetic sensibilities he embraced with the use of color photography. Departing from the dominant black-and-white format that had defined his earlier works and his influential publication Physique Pictorial, Mizer embarked on an experimental journey. This departure allowed him the sensibilities of Mannerism, highlighting his innovative departure from the black-and-white norm.
THE WORK of BOB MIZER
His photography was a seedbed for a myriad of image makers, both amateur and professional – such as Robert Mapplethorpe, David Hockney, Jim French, Bruce Weber and Andy Warhol.
Working out of his house in Los Angeles, Mizer created his legendary studio, Athletic Model Guild, part business, part watering hole and wayward house for youths, but primarily ground zero for the new era of male imagery. Using home made sets, or light and slide projections, Bob Mizer prefigured what would later become ‘constructed’ photography in the early 1980’s.
Mizer also produced the widely circulated men’s magazine, Physique Pictorial, which introduced and promoted the artists, George Quaintance and Tom of Finland to the world at large. By producing Physique Pictorial, Mizer infiltrated/flooded American culture with images of men and a fantastic spectrum of masculinity.
With knowledge of art history and film, Mizer’s work was meticulous, intelligent, humorous, and eloquent – a language that could only come from the mid-century, golden age of Southern California.