10 Years of Beautiful Men From Gay Zine 'Pinups'

<i>Pinups</i> exploited the power of the centerfold, flipping the format for a gay male gaze.

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Aug 25 2016, 8:31pm

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"The thing about the nude image is that people tend to become confronted by their emotions about sex when they see it," Christopher Schulz, a photographer and publisher who has spent the last ten years producing twenty issues of his gay zine Pinups, told VICE. "It can be primal—it's always an extreme reaction, whether they're excited by it or want to run from it."

There's something transfixing about the format of the centerfold, and Schulz's project, ostensibly a magazine of nude portraits of men, exploits that something in every issue. Yet in a larger sense, Pinups is also an art project about the power of print. Each issue contains 56 eight by ten inch pages, each of which holds photos of that issue's subject(s) on one side and, on the other, a piece of a 56-tile puzzle. In reconstructing the issue into a 70 by 32 inch poster, readers reveal the ultimate centerfold, a paean to the male body to post above their bed, breakfast table or toilet.

Its models are often hirsute and burly, though not always, and Schulz says the only constant among them is that they are friends or people he's admired. For one issue, Schulz flew a blogger he loved from Los Angeles to New York; in another, actor Guillermo Diaz candidly dances to a favorite record. Here, Schulz presents outtakes and favorite shots from 10 years of his project. Its final issue will be released with a party at New York's Printed Matter tomorrow.

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