los-angeles

José Quintana

Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies

In its presentation of diverse male subjectivities, José Quintana’ series of photographs is conceptually as well as visually seductive for the viewer usually starved of male objects of desire. Photographed in color and with the calculated spontaneity of photojournalism, the images are positioned as artsy yet “anthropological” studies of American manhood. While hung with a sometimes heavy-handed didacticism in thematic groups, the work thwarted the potentially clichéd effects of this arrangement with the humor and empathetic impulse underlying these far-from-simply-celebratory images. White men, black men, Latinos, studs, geeks, straights, gays, transvestites, cowboys, doctors, muscle-men, soldiers, and businessmen—these men are erotic or repulsive, sublime or absurd, depending on one’s point of view.

True to the documentary-art format, these photographs seethe with an underlying psychological

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