Monday, January 14, 2008

The Shopping Goddess Smiled Upon Me

Back in November I posted this entry about discovering some vintage photos on the net of a spectacularly handsome man called Tony Sansone. Sansone was an early devotee of the physical culture movement of the 20s and 30s, dancer, body sculptor and one of the earliest physique superstars.

So, I'm browsing in my favourite secondhand bookstore the other day... $35 store credit severely burning a hole in my pocket... when I found something I didn't even know existed. The Holy Grail.

A whole book about Tony Sansone, "American Adonis". Oh you can believe there was a small squeal. Mmmm hmmmm.

I'm not sure whether Sansone was particularly daring, or whether attitudes to artistic nudes were different then, or maybe it's because many of the photos were created as physique studies for artists (and some randy men), but pretty much the entire book is frontal nudes.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Sansone posed for a number of sculptors, and in the days well before Mystic Tan perfected a two step process of applying a bronze brown pigment to his body and then a layer of oil over the top, giving him a glorious sheen like a living statue. My favourites are some of the earliest photos, with the soft sepia photography and the stylised art deco inspired poses.

Le sigh.


Jodie Sorrell said...

Congratulations on your find!

(incidentally, and I swear I’m not making this up, but the word verification for this comment is ’dr coq’)

The Other Andrew said...

Paging Dr Coq! :)

mrpeenee said...

What a scoop. congrats. I remember your earlier post because I was struck then with how handsome he is.

The Other Andrew said...

Oh peener, he is SO handsome. (Was. He has been dead on nigh 20 years now.) I like that his body was sculpted, rather than just bulky. I hate the size oriented body building look, all bulging veins and huge bull necks. Blech. Sansone had a movie star handsome face too, it's not all about the body. But oh what a body...

John C said...

There's something about the quality of those older photos as well, slightly blurred, more mysterious. The imagination prefers space to play.