TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION

TOM OF
FINLAND

THE
FOUNDATION

EROTIC ART
GALLERIES

EXHIBITIONS
& EVENTS

ARTIST &
MUSEUM LINKS

HOME

OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.
June 12 - 27, 2010
Los Angeles, CA

Drkrm/Gallery
presents:
Frank Melleno: The Fairoaks Project
Polaroids from a San Francisco bathhouse 1978


FRANK MELLENO
The Kiss
1978, 12"x12"
Archival pigment print from original SX70 Polaroid

Opening Reception Saturday June 12, 2010, 7:00 -10:00 PM

A limited-edition book of photographs from the exhibit is available for purchase in the gallery.

Curated by Gary Freeman
Many of these images contain graphic nudity and sexual activities
.

An extraordinary, never-before-seen glimpse into pre-AIDS gay sexual culture will go on view June 12 at drkrm/gallery in celebration of Gay Pride Month. The Fairoaks Project is an exhibit of Polaroid photographs taken by Frank Melleno during the spring and summer of 1978 at The Fairoaks Hotel, a San Francisco bathhouse.

Situated in a refurbished Victorian building near a black ghetto, The Fairoaks was known for its laid-back and racially integrated ambiance. Bold and unapologetic, Melleno’s images capture an aspect of gay life rarely seen in snapshot photography: sexually candid encounters that are playful, spontaneous and often affectionate. The dark storm of drug abuse and pandemic disease that would soon overtake the community is not visible in these celebratory pictures.

Melleno’s collection of Polaroids was put in a box shortly after they were shot and have not been seen until now. Many of the images contain nudity and frank erotic scenes, but they also capture men dressed in festive attire and engaged in other aspects of the counter-culture lifestyle the Fairoaks promoted. Many artists lived at the hotel, and ongoing therapy-support groups and monthly theme parties enhanced the Fairoaks’ reputation as a neighborhood center for gay men as much as a bathhouse.

While The Fairoaks Hotel closed not long after these pictures were taken, its brief but colorful legacy is well documented in this exhibit. The Fairoaks Project not only serves as a unique opportunity to present rare images to a wider public, but also places them within the historical context of a bygone era.

Drkrm/Gallery
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11 AM - 5
PM, Sunday 1 - 4 PM
2121 North San Fernando Road, Suite 3, Los Angeles, CA 90065 Map 323.223.6867
Drkrm.Gallery Website

Return to Events Page


— Share This Page —
Share |

MONEY
“…I named what I thought was an enormous sum. Without blinking an eye, he gathered up my life work and handed me the amount I asked for: $70… I didn’t expect more. Remember that homosexuality was forbidden in most of the Western world; so all those businesses were illegal, black market. I knew that they wouldn’t have paid me more anyway — or so I believed then.”
— Tom of Finland