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George Dureau

Nude Male Photography and Art

Introduction by Mark I. Chester

Links edited by Dusk Peterson

They are uncompromising explorations into the heart of homoeroticism – portraits of black men brimming over with sensuality; images of physically different men, seen through the eyes of love.

George Dureau lives in New Orleans and defines himself as a Greco-Roman homosexual. He aims his camera at the men who live, work and play in the French Quarter. At 55 he is best known in the South for his paintings and drawings of men. But with these photographs, some of which are taken from a recently published book of his work, New Orleans, Dureau opens new chapters in the photographic imagery of men.

Other photographers have photographed the unusual before. Diane Arbus was a voyeur into worlds discounted by society at large. They were shocking for the blatant, unflattering picture of reality that they expressed. Joel-Peter Witkin is a voyeur into the darkness of his own soul. His pictures are shocking for the shadowy nightmares that he portrays as real. But Dureau photographs from the heart, insistent that there is beauty at every corner. One must merely be willing to see it and let it in.

Dureau loves and photographs without regard to the sexuality of his subjects; because they are here in Drummer, do not assume they are gay. Even though his subjects may be outsiders, outcasts from society's mainstream, Dureau imbues these portraits with a sense of dignity. These men know who and what they are. There is no shame in their being different. There is no regret.

But Dureau goes further. His photographs glow with the inherent sexual energy of his dwarfs and amputees. Look into their eyes. Listen to what they are saying. Feel the heat that cannot be denied.

By Mark I. Chester. Reprinted with permission from "George Dureau: Photographer," Drummer #93 (1986).


See below for a link to the article containing the photo that is cropped on the August 2005 index page of True Tales.

George Dureau photography. The second and third photographs feature models who appeared in Drummer's"Maimed Beauty" issue. [Arthur Roger Gallery]

George Dureau photography and paintings. The third and fourth photograph and the final drawing feature models who appeared in Drummer's"Maimed Beauty" issue. [WWNO]

Works by George Dureau (paintings and photographs). [Ogden Museum of Southern Art]

George Dureau paintings. [Bridgeman Art Library]

George Dureau: Two Men Wrestling (drawing). [p4a.com]

George Wilson (1976). Photograph. [think-photo.net]

Black Fright (1980). A drawing. Untitled. A photograph. [Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation]

Bacchus / Hercules. Two paintings. [Galleria Planetario]

David Kopay. A photograph. [The Weekly News]

Drawing of one of George Dureau's photographs by another artist. [Lauri's Gallery]

Dureau Series by Brad Edelman. Photographs of George Dureau in his house. [Brad Edelman Photography]

Photograph of George Dureau. By Terry Gaskins, a leather photographer. [Terry Gaskins Photography]

A Meeting with George Dureau. An interview that includes reproductions of his photography and art. The first photograph features a model who appeared in Drummer's"Maimed Beauty" issue.

George Dureau interview, March 2, 2005 (audio file). [WWNO/KTLN]

Dureau documentaries by Jack Fritscher. Documentary films of George Dureau by one of the editors of Drummer, who was also Robert Mapplethorpe's lover and biographer.

George Dureau, New Orleans, ou la Douleur en beauté (1994). French-language documentary film. 

Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera. Biography of Robert Mapplethorpe by Jack Fritscher. Includes an interview with George Dureau. [Amazon.com]

Review of a Dureau exhibit. A 1986 review in the New York Times of an exhibit of photographers organized by Robert Mapplethorpe. The exhibit included George Dureau's photography. [Hypomnemeta]

George Dureau. [glbt encyclopedia]

Opening the Shutter: George Dureau's Photos Expose a World of Flawed Beauty. An article by Douglas MacCash. [NOLA Live]

Post comments about this article at the truetales blog.

This page is part of the disabilities issue of True Tales, which includes articles, stories, photography, and links related to leather and disabilities.

About Mark I. Chester


About Dusk Peterson


Drummer Readers on the Eroticism of Disabled Men. Reactions to the publication of George Dureau's photography in a gay leather magazine.

When Cameras Collide: Dureau, Disability, and Dueling with Mapplethorpe. Interview by Jack Fritscher. A 1991 interview with George Dureau.

Drummer's "Maimed Beauty" Issue. Links related to an issue of the gay leather magazine Drummer that featured George Dureau's photography.

Introduction copyright © 1986 Mark I. Chester.
Remaining text copyright © 2005 Dusk Peterson. All rights reserved.
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