The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art recently announced the institution’s acquisition of works by Bob Mizer along with important pieces by contemporary artists Ryan Trecartin and Rodney McMillen.
The Mizer artwork includes two double-sided “catalog boards” of historical importance used in the production of catalogs of his thousands of images. “Mizer’s work is now within the walls of another major public institution,” said Dennis Bell, founder of the Bob Mizer Foundation. “As a result of our close collaboration with New York’s Invisible- Exports gallery and their groundbreaking solo Mizer exhibition last January, we are showing new audiences that Bob Mizer’s creative output is more Americana than anyone previously thought. Bob Mizer is a true artist.”
To quote the museum’s press release:
“Bob Mizer (1922-1992) was the founder of the influential studio, the Athletic Model Guild and the ground breaking magazine Physique Pictorial. He was known as a photographer-filmmaker and independent publisher. His erotic work focused on the male body and in retrospect served to chronicle the gay community during a time of censorship and heavy legal penalties for the distribution of what were then deemed "obscene" materials. His fascination with beauty and the male physique found echoes in the work of David Hockney, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, and other artists. Several of Mizer's models would go on to become Warhol superstars. As a beefcake photographer he succeeded in attaining commercial success, while artistically and formally he continued to push boundaries and experiment with new technologies and advances in photography. He was acutely aware of color, lighting, and composition, and often took great risks to creatively style a shoot and move away from standard or traditional representations of masculinity. These recent additions to the MOCA collection continue the museum's commitment to acquiring major works by historical and emerging Los Angeles-based artists.”