Right from the start I took my pleasure in looking, seeing
everything that was real. I welcome your eyes to my online
I am a photograph freak. I have a vision: of light and line
and inner gesture of flesh and form, of contemporary man daring
to see and be seen. I walk with this vision. I see the individual
design. I came from the outside. I seek to find out why? I
am. All men are more than they are ever allowed to be.
For the past twentyfive years I have been photographing, and
recording, with love, the other side. My work is a political
and anthropological act. I see men here in my NYC society
as they live, and die, and live. It is a society of physical,
naked men, a whole unacknowledged counter world of men: straight,
bi, and gay, usually never seen; rarely seen but in secret.
They take off their clothes. They let themselves be recorded.
I see them say, "I am also this... consciously, physically
allowing myself to merge with the universal visual history
of all men.
Stop, and know I am here.
Look in my eyes. Look at my golden eyes, before I go.
"These are portraits of what has traditionally been hidden,
ignored, visually banned about men. It was bad to look directly.
It was dangerous. There exists a censor fearing visions of
a world beyond the given line.
Portraits are traditionally not supposed to be sexually charged.
Such images are seldom seen as beautiful. This disassociation
between sexuality and beauty creates a language, the lexicon
of what we've come to call pornography; a vision fraught with
secrecy, and with shame.
All men share their nakedness with each other, yet are never
allowed to see each other naked. The lingering eye... is mine.
So what's the connection between the outside and the inside?
I came in looking for myself this is what I see. This is what
I say: "Sit down. Talk. Look at your eyes, face, head,
ears, hands. Take off your shoes, show me your feet. Look
at me... seeing you as light.
Take off your clothes, and be beautiful and naked, cool
and hot here, same as me, now. "I see the full picture,
not the covered up one. The true picture, what is. I see something
of myself in all these people. I record them, acknowledging
their existence, emotion, and humanity. And in the process,
record my own.
I used to think I was alone in my vision, of humanity. The
internet has done away with isolation. We are visible, truthful,
vulnerable, and strong.
Merged with everyman.
Stanley Stellar, NYC, 2000
The Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation,
established in 1990, is a nonprofit organization dedicated
to furthering the awareness and appreciation of GLBTQ art
that may not be exhibited due to prejudice and ignorance.
Since its inception the Foundation’s gallery has presented
over 200 exhibitions including hundreds of gay and lesbian
artists whose work represents the fundamental view that “gay
art” does exist and that the “gay/lesbian”
artist has contributed immeasurably to our visual culture
from prehistoric to ancient Greece to the contemporary era.
The Foundation has a considerable permanent
collection of art, including, Andy Warhol, Duncan Grant, Delmas
Howe, Jean Cocteau, Deni Ponty, Sonia Melara, Cassandra, Marsden
Hartley, Horst, Bastille, Blade, Tom of Finland, Michael Kirwan,
and many more.