Guest Artist Gallery (GAG)
John Palatinus & the Art of the Male Physique
through October 6 in the Guest Artist Gallery
Indiana native John Palatinus was a photographer, best known for his 1950's "fitness" photographs of handsome young men. These photographs were published in several male physique magazines of the era, including Tomorrow's Man. Innocent by today's standards, these magazines pre-dated commercial pornography for gay men and provided one of the only expressions of gay culture at the time. Although the models were photographed alone, with their genitals covered without any sexual connotation, the images were often considered obscene. Palatinus was arrested in 1959 for violating US postal codes for shipping obscene materials. He spent one night in jail, paid a hefty fine, and had all of his photographs and negatives seized and destroyed, The incident drove him away form physique photography in 1961 and he focused on commercial photography instead.
In the 1990's while living in Palm Springs, Palatinus' work was rediscovered and the renewed interest encouraged him to continue his sensual photography. In addition, he put himself in front of the camera as a hot daddy.
2019 marks the 90th anniversary of Palatinus' birth, and the first Chicago exhibit of his photography.Stop by and check out the Guest Artist Gallery and learn more about the 50's and 60's era of beefcake photography.