From La Rédaction’s piece for L’Oeil de la Photographie:
Jim French (b. 1932) first began drawing and then photographing male erotica in the 1960s. Originally a successful fashion illustrator, French and an old army buddy partnered to open a mail order company in New York City they called Luger. French contributed homoerotic drawings of hyper-masculine types such as soldiers, cowboys, and bikers. Eventually he bought out his business partner, and by 1967, under the pseudonym Rip Colt, he founded the now infamous Colt Studio. Producing highly detailed drawings for various Colt Studio books, magazines, and calendars, French turned to the new Polaroid camera to shoot photographs of male models that eventually would serve as research studies. However, despite his great talent with the pencil, as time went on, French ultimately built a formidable reputation for himself as one of the most important photographers of the male form. ClampArt’s exhibition features the vintage Polaroid studio “studies” French shot in the late 1960s.