With our first round of interviews which starts the build up to this year’s 10th birthday festival, Homotopia.tv today talked to Mr Rupert Smith, who describes himself as an ‘Author and sort of gay historian’. Rupert will be part of our Hockney Weekend: Beefcakes and Dripping on Sunday 17th November. “People know a lot about American physique photography”, Rupert told us, “People, like Bob Mizer and Bruce of LA, but there was a parallel movement going on in Britain, with lots of photographers, a lot of them gay, photographing body builders, service men, some of them quite legit but some of them were gay porn.
The images were distrubted through little physique magazines with names like ‘Health and Strength’, ‘Man’s World’ and ‘Man Alive’. At a time when it was difficult and dangerous to be gay, these magazines served as an underground, coded, covert gay press and that’s very exciting, because when you start un picking the code, you realise that there was an awful lot more going on that might at first meet the eye. It’s a wonderful glimpse into a secret world of 1940’s and 50’s gay life.
Look out for our video interview with Rupert which will be published on homotopia.tv in a few weeks.