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The Coffee Table

Pretty Boys

Is photographer Greg Gorman a modern Horst or Hurrell? A new monograph addresses the question.

Book Cover Reportedly Andy Warhol started Interview Magazine when he was refused press credentials to the (inaugural) 1969 New York Film Festival. Though it began its life as a newsprint quarterfold, by the 1980s it became a perfect bound, oversized publication printed on offset stock. And taking advantage of these enhanced production values, art director Marc Balet corralled a stable of young and (need I add) exciting photographers and well reproduced their photos big, frequently as full page bleeds. Greg Gorman was one of those photographers and this monograph, In Their Youth, echoes the Interview years which lionized prides of celebrity cubs. Gorman collected about 200 black and white images of familiar faces, before they were familiar, including Leonard Di Caprio, Rob Lowe, Viggo Mortsonsen, James Franco, Timothy Hutton, Kevin Kostner, Johnny Depp, Patrick Dempsey, Tom Cruise, Orlando Bloom, Matt Dillon—you get the picture.

You may have noticed something missing from this list. By way of explanation, here’s a snippet from curator-at-large Peter Weiermair’s introduction: “This volume culled from one thousand edited images from the archives of Greg Gorman was selected by himself in the form of a ‘bequest during lifetime.’ It is without a doubt the most personal evidence of his obsessive search for pictures of radiantly manly youth…”

Of course some people might find this “obsessive search” in the form of 200 images overwhelming. I am one of those.
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