He goes only by the name Mr., a fitting alias suggesting an anonymous pervy older man. Indeed, Mr. is a Japanese artist whose cartoonish paintings and sculptures in bubblegum colors derive from Japan's otaku (or “geek”) subculture. As such, he shares the otaku obsession with anime and manga comic books, painting prepubescents lifting their skirts and flashing bits of underwear.
Bob Mizer began his photographic career in 1942, focusing on men as the objects of desire, mastering a sensual, campy style all his own. He gave equal attention to the muscular aesthetic of bodybuilders as the fresh-faced boy next door, creating a new male erotic ideal.
In the early 1960s, the dashing wildlife (and sometime fashion) photographer Peter Beard chucked his privileged upbringing for the plains, mountains, and jungles of Africa. Although his obsession with the continent, and its preservation, is perhaps most associated with his discovery of Iman in Nairobi, Beard's photos of African animals — usually collaged together and superimposed with hand-written prose and other marginalia — have nonetheless captured the popular imagination.
Juergen Teller had doggedly pursued his own vision of popular portraiture and fashion photography, becoming a cult figure himself. Straddling the intersection of fine art and commercial photography, he's consistently resisted the urge to idealize, romanticize or glamorize his subjects, revealing their imperfect perfection instead.
Antonio Lopez was hooked on fashion from an early age, creating drawings for his mother, a seamstress, and applying makeup on the mannequins his father produced. The world's most celebrated fashion illustrator, Lopez was working for Harper's Bazaar, British Vogue, and Interview, as well as Yves Saint Laurent, Missoni, and Chloé, before he was struck down by AIDS in 1987, aged 44.
The modern history of prostitution is inextricably linked with that of photography. A new exhibit, Scarlet Muse, spans the last 150 years of sex work, as told through photographs from the late 19th century to the present. The show includes the work of more than 20 photographers who befriended, employed, or were themselves sex workers — a loving, stylish tribute to the oldest profession.
The first major solo exhibition by the influential London stylist and accessories designer Judy Blame — known for his unorthodox use of safety pins, buttons, badges, bottle tops, cutlery, plastic bags, toy soldiers, and keys chains — arrives later this month. Presented as a montage rather than a chronology, the survey brings together an assortment of artifacts, collages, jewelry, editorials, and sketchbooks.