ARTBOOK LOGO

ARTBOOK BLOG

RECENT POSTS

DATE 8/10/2018

'The Swimming Pool in Photography' featured in the 'Wall Street Journal'

DATE 8/9/2018

'Frank Kunert: Lifestyle' reviewed in WIRED

DATE 8/7/2018

Jim Marshall on Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison

DATE 8/7/2018

Johnny Cash at Folsom and San Quentin, empowered as if by divine authority

DATE 8/6/2018

Happy Birthday Andy Warhol, born August 6, 1928

DATE 8/5/2018

An epic movie-novel: Andy Warhol's The Chelsea Girls

DATE 8/4/2018

Karine Laval's 'Poolscapes' is just the book for the last languid days of summer

DATE 8/4/2018

Summer seduction in Karine Laval's 'Poolscapes'

DATE 8/3/2018

Join us at SHOPPE OBJECT Independent Home & Gift Show

DATE 8/3/2018

1940s Black Chicago in 'A Vision Shared'

DATE 8/2/2018

Back in Stock! The Essential Cy Twombly

DATE 8/2/2018

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Hank O'Neal's 'A Vision Shared'

DATE 8/1/2018

ARTBOOK | D.A.P. Welcomes SPBH Editions!

DATE 8/1/2018

ARTBOOK | D.A.P. Welcomes SPBH Editions!

DATE 8/1/2018

Still the best: 'The Essential Cy Twombly'

DATE 7/31/2018

Identity: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv

DATE 7/30/2018

Identity: Six decades of logo design by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv

DATE 7/29/2018

NEW! Picasso: Ceramics

DATE 7/29/2018

Recto / Verso: Art Publishing in Practice

DATE 7/28/2018

Special magic in 'This Is No Dream: Making Rosemary's Baby'

DATE 7/28/2018

Christopher Willoughby & James Munn launch "This Is No Dream: Making Rosemary’s Baby" at Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

DATE 7/27/2018

This Is No Dream… Reel Art Press celebrates the 50th anniversary of 'Rosemary's Baby'

DATE 7/26/2018

Frail and beautiful and deeply human

DATE 7/25/2018

Psychological and erotic, "Saul Leiter: In My Room"

DATE 7/24/2018

Burt Glinn's 'The Beat Scene'—a national treasure

DATE 7/23/2018

From East to West, Upper Bohemia to Lower: Burt Glinn documented 'The Beat Scene'

DATE 7/22/2018

Celebrate the SF Art Book Fair with 'Protest: The Aesthetics of Resistance'

DATE 7/22/2018

'Posturing' at Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

DATE 7/21/2018

Sara Jane Boyers & Shana Nys Dambrot on "Life Doesn't Frighten Me" at Artbook at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

DATE 7/21/2018

Find summertime staff favorite 'Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums' at the SF Art Book Fair

DATE 7/20/2018

From Kenneth Anger to Agnès Varda: Jonas Mekas' 'Conversations with Film-makers'

DATE 7/20/2018

'Shoplifters 7' launch at Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

DATE 7/19/2018

Mario Carnicelli's American Voyage

DATE 7/18/2018

Renate Aller and Terrie Sultan talk and signing at Parrish Art Museum

DATE 7/18/2018

Renate Aller and Terrie Sultan talk and signing at Parrish Art Museum

DATE 7/18/2018

Blurring and deformation in 'Bacon / Giacometti'

DATE 7/17/2018

The milestone telling its story in 'Bacon / Giacometti'

DATE 7/16/2018

Join us at the 2018 SF Art Book Fair!

DATE 7/16/2018

MoMA's 'Toward a Concrete Utopia' revives a lost architecture

DATE 7/15/2018

Fantastic Brutalism in hot MoMA show, 'Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980'

DATE 7/14/2018

BACK IN STOCK! Deanna Templeton: The Swimming Pool

DATE 7/13/2018

David Hockney, palm trees and homoeroticism in 'Paradise is Now'

DATE 7/12/2018

Celebrate the radical optimism of Buckminster Fuller during the month of his birth 123 years ago!

DATE 7/12/2018

Palm trees and art in 'Paradise Is Now'

DATE 7/11/2018

Game-changing fashion photography in Posturing

DATE 7/11/2018

An eerie time machine: Unearthing Ancient Nubia

DATE 7/9/2018

Visit us at the Atlanta Gift & Home Furnishings Market

DATE 7/9/2018

Fluid and improvisational, 'Saul Leiter: Early Color'

DATE 7/8/2018

Saul Leiter, offbeat chronicler of metropolitan scenes

DATE 7/7/2018

In 'Saul Leiter: Early Color,' urban visual poetry that is by turns deeply affectionate, edgy and breathtakingly poignant

DATE 7/6/2018

Bruno Ceschel & Shonagh Marshall to launch 'Posturing' at MAST


BOOKS IN THE MEDIA

JESSE PEARSON | DATE 6/25/2016

Jesse Pearson on Gay Semiotics

Of what utility is a review by me—a mostly straight man, as the Kinsey scale goes—of a book that outlines, from the inside and with anthropological precision, the intimate codes of apparel and persona that were employed by the gay men of 1970s America? That question is so unanswerable, at least in terms of finding a response that would satisfy each potential questioner, that it’s essentially hypothetical. So I’ll forego any further stress regarding whether I have the right to tell you what I think of this book and instead I’ll just tell you what I think of this book (as long as you keep in mind that the subject of Gay Semiotics is a secret language that was created with the express purpose of communication beyond the ken of the un-gay).

Jesse Pearson on Gay Semiotics

Originally published in 1978, this is a laconic field guide to the flora and fauna of then-contemporary gay life in San Francisco. Photographer and critic Hal Fischer—operating in a world in which semiotics was still a thing that people talked about not just when they were high on cocaine and yearning to flex a bit of what they had learned in a mostly forgotten college course—applied the social science of sign-reading to the milieu, full to the brim with frisson and jouissance, in which he found himself living. The book’s poker-faced photos and texts, when applied to such juicy accoutrements as ball gags and amyl nitrate poppers and such complex species as urbanis cowboyicus and leatherus daddyus give the whole venture a feeling of warm familiarity, of a joke shared.

Jesse Pearson on Gay Semiotics

Under the heading of “Signifiers for a Male Response,” Fischer breaks down the applicable meanings of earrings, handkerchiefs and keys—as well as the additional nuances of placement on the right or left side of the body. I like how these elements of gay culture, during a time when it was still forced to remain underground, found expression in codes so rigid that they approach militaristic precision. The utility of this language is clean and fast. Cut the shit; show me what you want. Wear your keys on a chain on your right side if you’re sexually passive; stick a red handkerchief in the left pocket of your jeans to indicate that you prefer to take charge in matters of penetration, and so on. Fischer, quietly adept, throws in deadpan asides here and there, such as a gentle reminder that red handkerchiefs might also be “employed in the treatment of nasal discharge,” in which case, it is assumed, their sex mojo would be nullified.

Jesse Pearson on Gay Semiotics

Elsewhere in the book, Fischer breaks down several of what he calls "Archetypal Media Images." Riffing on the tradition of August Sander, we see representative examples of various types, such as the natural (which lies in the American folk tradition of Whitman and Eakins), the classical (which owes its vibe to the marbled Adonis of antiquity), western (the cowboy stud), the urbane (of which Robert Mapplethorpe’s Man in Polyester Suit is the gold standard) and the leather (of which the Village People’s Glenn Hughes was best known in mainstream 1970s America).

Jesse Pearson on Gay Semiotics

As a time capsule of both gay subculture and the urge to commit semiotics, this book is necessary. It is also valuable as a chunk of sheer entertainment. But most interesting, perhaps, is the way that Gay Semiotics offers a chance to reflect upon the necessities of communication engendered by repression—as well as the opportunity to evaluate in which ways, and how much, gay men are freer now than they were then.

Jesse Pearson on Gay Semiotics

JESSE PEARSON is the founder and editor of Apology. He was previously an editor at index and the editor-in-chief of Vice. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is Creative Director of Super Deluxe.
Jesse Pearson on Gay Semiotics
Jesse Pearson on Gay Semiotics
Jesse Pearson on Gay Semiotics

Hal Fischer: Gay Semiotics

Hal Fischer: Gay Semiotics

CHERRY AND MARTIN
Pbk, 8 x 10 in. / 56 pgs / 24 b&w.





ARTBOOK LOGO
 
 

the art world's source for books on art & culture

  

CUSTOMER SERVICE
orders@artbook.com
212 627 1999
M-F 9-5 EST

TRADE ACCOUNTS

800 338 2665

CONTACT

JOBS + INTERNSHIPS

NEW YORK
Showroom by Appointment Only
75 Broad Street, Suite 630
New York NY 10004
Tel   212 627 1999

LOS ANGELES
Showroom by Appointment Only
818 S. Broadway, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel. 323 969 8985

ARTBOOK LLC
D.A.P. | Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.


All site content Copyright C 2000-2017 by Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. and the respective publishers, authors, artists. For reproduction permissions, contact the copyright holders.

ARTBOOK AMPERSAT

The D.A.P. Catalog
www.artbook.com