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Exhibition of 35 portraits and male nudes by Danny Fitzgerald on view at Steven Kasher Gallery
Stef, 1963. Danny Fitzgerald and Les Demi Dieux from the Collection of Robert Loncar and James Kempster, Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, New York.
NEW YORK, NY.- Steven Kasher Gallery presents Danny Fitzgerald and Les Demi Dieux: Brooklyn Boys. It is Fitzgerald’s first exhibition. Included are 35 portraits and male nudes in both black and white and color. The exhibition is mounted in conjunction with the recently released book of the same title (Bruno Gmünder, 2013).

Throughout the 1960s, from his home in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, Danny Fitzgerald (1921-2000) operated a studio under the name Les Demi Dieux with his partner and chief model Richard Bennett. Fitzgerald considered his models “demi-gods”: sublime, muscled beauties on the streets of Brooklyn, beaches of New Jersey, and woods of Pennsylvania. In the flesh, the Brooklyn boys were members of street gangs: greasers smoldering with bravado and swagger. They play cards, smoke cigarettes, and slouch against their Buicks. Occasionally they were photographed in Fitzgerald’s studio, where he shot elegant, sensual nudes. The Brooklyn boys exist on a cusp between innocence and street savvy, boyhood and manhood, mortality and eternity. In a style redolent with both classicism and realism, Fitzgerald’s gritty yet gorgeous nudes surpass the clichés of standard “beefcake” photography.

Fitzgerald began photographing the young men he met at Abe Goldberg’s gym on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The models were working-class men 20 years his junior, from neighborhoods and families similar to his own. Later, he and Bennett recruited their subjects on the streets of Brooklyn using Bennett’s gregarious personality and bodybuilder physique as bait. Fitzgerald’s knowledge of art and culture and unwavering encouragement of physical beauty sealed the deal.

Fitzgerald’s portraits appeared regularly on the covers of pre-Stonewall publications such as The Young Physique, Muscles a Go-Go, Demi Gods and Era. His work dropped out of view until it was discovered by Robert Loncar and James Kempster of BigKugels Photographic, Inc.

Danny Fitzgerald and Les Demi Dieux: Brooklyn Boys will be on view December 12th through January 18th, 2014.





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December 22, 2013

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