If I could only use one word to describe Michael’s work, that word would be “hyper-masculine”. There is an undeniable segment of the gay male population that craves manliness in it’s roughest and crudest form. I believe that segment of the population has existed longer than I’ve been alive, and Michael’s photography serves that segment perfectly.
Even as far back as the 1950’s, there has been an underground appreciation for masculinity. These consumers had to be content with magazines that celebrated the male physique and bodybuilding. I suppose men who enjoyed these publications could pretend their interest was in self-improvement rather than in the eroticism of nude and nearly nude men. While groundbreaking for their time, obviously they are quite tame by today’s standards. Click here for a fascinating look at this early genre of masculine imagery: A Short History of Physique Magazines
It was one of these very magazines, Physique Pictorial, which premiered the images of a budding artist named Touko Laaksonen (better known to the world as Tom of Finland) in the Spring of 1957. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that Michael Alago is to photography what Tom of Finland was to drawing in appealing to gay men who appreciate this hyper-masculine imagery.
This is a little different from my typical entry, in which I merely repost something that I like from some other source…I hope my readers will appreciate the extra effort. I’ve been neglectful of my blog lately, so I wanted to try to post something a little more interesting. There’s nothing a blogger likes more than feedback, so I would appreciate your comments if you like what you see. 🙂