For years I have been interested in, though not nostalgic for, the seedy Times Square of the 70s and 80s. Because my earliest visitation occurred after the Disnification of the mid-90s, I've never experienced the grime and candid hedonism which made it infamous. As I began researching the 42nd's prior life, I was fascinated to learn that through sociological texts, memoirs, photography, and documentary films, I could begin to understand the zeitgeist and spirit of the area. However, documentation of the mundane is rarely thorough - there are many gaps for me to fill in. Despite my research, I remain somewhat in the dark about the everyday aspects of peep shows, sex clubs, the goings-on inside theatres, what it felt like to walk down the street at night, etc. I'm approaching this series (named for one of TS's many nicknames, the Deuce) with this pseudo-knowledge of a skeezy past. I'm not worried about my (likely wrong) interpretations misrepresenting the past - this is the past as it has been represented to me, though the filter of an unavoidable ignorance.
Beefcakes is a relatively new series that explores the men’s clothing catalogs and ‘muscle’ magazines of the 60s and 70s. While working on Bland Intruders, I started to question what else may be hidden in plain sight, engineered to be glossed over by the general public. To circumvent pornography laws, beefcake magazines were marketed to gay men under the guise of bodybuilding publications. Many of their covers were cheeky, camp, and shot on low-budget sets, which is an aesthetic my invented beefcake ‘ManSuch’ strives to mimic. The ferns present in this series serve to punctuate how these magazines (and their readership) were essentially created to be ignored by those not seeking them out.