ARTIST

Calvin Zwingley and David Kenney
Unknown Model

Robert Henry Mizer was a controversial American photographer and filmmaker. The erotic auteur was a pioneer in male portraiture, known for establishing the Athletic Model Guild—the oldest male model photography studio in the United States—and founding the beefcake magazine Physique Pictorial, which featured work of Tom of Finland and George Quaintance, among others. Due to the homoerotic and boundary-pushing nature of Mizer’s work, he had some run-ins with the law, eventually being convicted of the unlawful distribution of obscene material through the U.S. Mail, for which he served nine months in prison.

Mizer was incredibly prolific with a portfolio estimated at one million images and thousands of films that include important cultural figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Andy Warhol’s muse Joe Dallesandro, and artist Jack Pierson, as well as Hollywood actors, body builders, porn stars, and hustlers, influencing artists like David Hockney, Robert Mapplethorpe, Francis Bacon, and many others.