May 1 - 31, 2006

Visual AIDS and The Body

The "Me" You See
A Web Gallery Curated by
Reed Massengill
Sam Orwen, Lovers, 1982
Self-Portrait Seated 1985
Copy Berg
Crayon on Arches cover stock, 22" x 30"

Featuring the work of Alex Aleixo, Dominic Avellino, Robert Blanchon, Michael Borosky, Brian Buczak, Copy Berg, Philip Calkins, Rene Capone, Gregg Cassin, Peter Cherone, John Dugdale, Juan Gonzalez, Derek Jackson, Tim McCarron, John Morrison, Luna Luis Ortiz, Eric Rhein, Nelson Edwin Rodriguez, and Albert J. Winn.

In the Curatorís Statement: I reviewed the thousands of images available to curate this exhibition, I consciously looked for artists whose representations of themselves in one way or another seemed to want us to see them -- not simply as artists who are skilled with paint or pencil or Pentax, but as beings who have shared airspace and earthspace with us. "This is, in some small part, who I am," these images seemed to say to me. "I want you to know I was here."

Reed Massengill is a widely published writer and photographer whose work spans the genres of literary biography (Portrait of a Racist, 1994), corporate history (Becoming American Express, 2000) and photography (Massengill, 1995; Massengill Men, 1997; and Brian: A Nine-Year Photographic Diary, 2000). As a collector, curator and editor, he has produced several volumes of male nude photography, including Roy Blakey's '70s Male Nudes (2001), Champion (2003); and The Male Ideal: Lon of New York and The Masculine Physique (2003). His most recent book, Self-Exposure: The Male Nude Self-Portrait (2005) recently was released by Rizzoli/Universe.

As a writer, his work has been nominated by its publisher for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography (Portrait of a Racist) and has been translated into nine languages (Becoming American Express). As a photographer of the male nude, in addition to three monographs, his work has been widely published and exhibited both in the United States and abroad. His images are included in a number of important photographic anthologies, including Exposed (2000) and Male Nude Now (2001).

He is an avid collector of vintage male nudes, particularly those from the era of classic physique photography, and museums, gallery owners and private collectors frequently seek his advice and expertise when acquiring images, conducting research or seeking attribution.

Founded in 1988 by arts professionals as a response to the effects of AIDS on the arts community and as a way of organizing artists, arts institutions, and arts audiences towards direct action, Visual AIDS has evolved into an arts organization with a two-pronged mission: 1) Through the Frank Moore Archive Project, the largest slide library of work by artists living with HIV and the estates of artists who have died of AIDS, Visual AIDS historicizes the contributions of visual artists with HIV while supporting their ability to continue making art and furthering their professional careers, 2) In collaboration with museums, galleries, artists, schools, and AIDS service organizations, Visual AIDS produces exhibitions, publications, and events utilizing visual art to spread the message “AIDS IS NOT OVER.”

The Body is now the most frequently visited HIV/AIDS-related site on the Web, according to the Medical Library Association and also the most frequently visited disease-specific site on the Web, according to Hot 100. The Body contains a rich collection of information on topics ranging from HIV prevention, state-of-the-art treatment issues, humor and art. An invaluable resource, The Body is used by clinicians, patients and the general public. Part of The Body's mission is to enable artistic expression to reach the Web, and to join art with other resources needed to help the public comprehend the enormity and devastation of the AIDS pandemic and to experience its human and spiritual dimensions.

Visual AIDS 
526 W. 26th St. # 510, New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212.627.9855  Fax: 212.627.9815

Visual AIDS Gallery

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“In those days, a gay man was made to feel nothing but shame about his feelings and his sexuality. I wanted my drawings to counteract that, to show gay men being happy and positive about who they were. Oh, I didn’t sit down to think this all out carefully. But I knew — right from the start — that my men were going to be proud and happy men!"
— Tom of Finland