In his preface to this quite amazing book Claus Kiessling says that this is the first anthology "coming from the house of Bruno Gmunder, a unique project uniting a variety of styles." David Leddick, well-known and respected for his several collections of male nude photography, also has written a short preface. There are well over 300 photographs included here by sixty-seven artists (in alphabetical order) from around the world-- Germany, the U. S., Canada, Spain, Russia, France, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Lebanon and Thailand. Some of the photographers are well-known, having published books or been anthologized before-- Tom Bianchi, Kristen Bjorn, Seva Galkin (in a recent edition of "Blue" magazine), Christopher Makos, Joe Oppedisano, Jeff Palmer, Howard Roffman, James Spada, Steven Underwood, David Vance, Carlos Quiroz, Kingdome 19-- and probably others of whom I'm not familiar. The pages are not numbered and the artists are listed by residence, e-mail address and sometimes their date of birth. A few of the photographs are named in the photo index included at the end of the collection. What the editors have done admirably here is to let the photographs speak for themselves; and they do, loud and clear.
There is an embarrassment of riches here and certainly something for everyone regardless of your interest or fetish. The photographs are in color, in black and white, in focus, out of focus, sharp and grainy. Some of the men are shot in classic poses, other have props running the gamut from masks to ropes, leather, lingerie and designer underwear of course. There are skinheads, an amputee, and men of different races.
Some of my favorite photographs in no particular order are Kristen Bjorn's shot of two nude men standing overlooking Rio de Janiero (I believe), Christopher Makos' six beautiful head shots, Monopoly's erotic "Colt rehearsal," Bruce LaBruce's humorous set-- particularly "Black Sheep," Aaron Cobbett's stylized sailor shot, Jay Diers' "Ty 1" for the beautiful side lighting, Matthias Herrmann for the guts to do those outrageous self-portraits, Matthias Kort for the wonderfully lit "Uwe," Joan Crisol's work, Mark Lynch's "Paul-The Old Warehouse, 1999" for obvious reasons, and the first photograph by Kelly Mink for its great composition. Finally the four photos of Carlos Quiroz-- is he influenced by Edward Weston?-- "Nude LVI," "Nude LXXXI," "Nude LXXXVI" and "Horse" are original beyond description. At first, I was totally convinced I was seeing a rose in the second photograph!
Someone will have to work long and hard to publish a collection of male nude photography better than this beautifully reproduced and printed book.