Thursday, December 22, 2011

About dream and desire...

"Dear Wilhelm,

Sorry to be back to you after such a long time... I was traveling abroad, so far away from Taormina... But I brought with me the sun of Sicily, the light of the San Domenico piazza, and the beauty of your models...

How could I forget them... They make me dream so much... I see them, I talk to them so much in my dreams... Your photographic eye made them so perfect, so relevant, so splendid, so desirable... Desire is such a strange thing... How could we desire a boy pictured on a photograph... ? The aura is more important than the body, the gaze is more important than touch, a photograph haunts his viewer longer than a body haunts its lover... At least, I think, I hope so...

I will never be tired to love your photographs, to love your models... You caught their youth, their beauty, what makes them so desirable, so lovable... Looking at your photographs is just reading a love story, a never ending love story, and day after day, I will say "I love you" to the boy you chose to focus on...

Am I loving a boy or a photograph ? I am loving beauty, intemporal beauty, hauting eyes, half open lips, waiting for a kiss, or about to say some loving words...

I am loving a boy from Athens or Sparta, from Alexandria or Rome, a blossoming boy at the peak of youth and beauty, just a flower that will last as far as youth does...

How to forget him, how to forget you... Each of your photograph is the first chapter of a love story, and the viewer should write its ending part... 

Loving a photograph is loving a boy for ever... Looking carefully at the photograph, I can feel the breathe, the warmth of your model, I can almost touch him and embrass him.... "Almost" is  what makes the difference... "Almost" is what will never put an end to my longing, to my love, to my desire, "almost" is what will allow the magic of your photograph to go on and on, for ever, for the fortunate viewer who will perhaps get it, after I disappeared...

Dear Wilhem, thanks so much for experimenting such a new way to write love poetry...

Yours, as always, Philip"

Von Gloeden Archive, Letter from Philip to W. von Gloeden, ca. 1912, call number 1912/00/05

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stage set up

"Dear Philip,

You asked me to share with you some of my little secrets, how I create the stage set up for my neo-Arcadian photographs...

I think about the stage set up as a painter. Every detail has its own importance. Foreground or background, various objects and props should contribute to build up the imaginary world where I want my Taormina boys to be displayed...

First, I am thinking about the floor: my old zebra skin suggests a world of luxury and sensuality, an exotic horizon, where Africa meets Sicily.

Then, I choose some of my favorite singing birds, sometimes some cicadas, and I put them into a small wicker cage. They will create the musical background of my photograph, a drone or a melody that will help the boys to focus and to relax...

Details matter so much... I love to use some of the Greek vases Taormina's peasants sometimes find in a forgotten tumb... A lekythos has such a perfect shape, it was devoted to the dead, and somehow, I think a lekythos is relevant in my photographic art, since I try to dig into cultural memory while making my models immortal...

Taormina's potters still remember the skill of their ancestors and a modern eartheware jar evokes a remote Antiquity where water, vine and oil where kept in such a way...

My house, Piazza San Domenico, and the surrounding buildings are timeless and suggest what the urban landscape of antique Tauromenium could be...

Then, I speak gently to my models, and I try to suggest a mood, a story, a legend. I want them to forget my camera, and to be the intemporal young men that adorned so many Greek temples... Pasqualino is my favorite model, he loves so much to play the part of a Theocritus shepherd, he loves so much to be loved and to inspire tenderness and desire... Who could fight against his gaze, again his grace ?   

Pietro has such a natural grace, who could ever guess that a Taormina's young fisherman remembers so well the grace and curves, the sensuality and boldness, the pride and tenderness of ancient Greek ephebes, who inspired so many dreams of beauty, so many desires and memories...

I am a perfectionist, and every detail matters for me... I spend so much times finding the right light, the perfect stage set up... Sometimes, I miss something... Sometimes a flower may hide another one... Actually, I love this visual lapsus... My Taormina boys do not belong to Arcadia, they live here and now, they love and they are loved, they are not concepts, they are real guys, and the most ethereal desire should not make us forget that there is no soul without a body, and that boys could be loved by men for who they are, sensual worlds to dream about and to caress with the eyes, lovable boys to be loved for their soul as well as for their body...

Each of my photographs is a love story... A love story between my Taormina models, between them and me... A love story between my photograph and the viewer...

Each of my photographs is the archive of a moment that vanished, of light and shade, of a birds song, of a splendid beauty...

In my craziest dreams, dear Philip, I hope my photographs will survive me and that in the future, someone will understand them and love them as well as you do...

With my warmest regards,


(Private collection)

Von Gloeden's letter to Philip, around 1902, Von Gloeden Archive, Call number ca 1902/00/04.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Boy or girl... ? Desire and imagination

A boy or a girl ? A boy with a whig and with a girlish veil and dress ?
Yes, most likely, a boy...

I love so much this photograph... I love the sweet face, I love the dreaming eyes, we will never know what he was looking at...

I love the intemporal poetry of this photograph, the beauty of this face is shining for ever, these eyes will haunt me for ever...

Wilhelm von Gloeden's camera caught for ever the fugitive time of a dream, of a memory, of a thought...

This boy of Taormina is looking at eternity...

I don't know your name... Perhaps in Taormina someone still remember it...?

Were you a friend of Pasqualino ?

You make me dream and I would love so much, so much to tell you, so many things...

I know you would listen to me, you would understand me and even smile, and again, you would turn your gaze towards this so remote horizon, back to an immemorial past or to a future beyond your imagination...

Yes, in 2011, there is still someone who is moved by your beauty, by your youth, by the mystery, the riddle of your gaze, so focussed, so deep, so silent...

You are now a part of my small collection of von Gloeden's masterworks... I choose only photographs that inspire me, photographs that are a music for my eyes, for my heart, for my thought...

Perhaps I am wrong, but I think I already crossed your path, a while ago, I was already seduced by your beauty, by your mystery, by your ambiguity. Boy or girl ? Pure beauty ignores borders... Any collection is ruled by its inner logic, by the gaze and the sensitivity of the collector...

Are you the same boy as this one, I posted on my blog on January 29, in 2010 ???

Yes, I think so...

I love this photograph, and, may I tell it frankly, I love you too, so much...

The Old Story

Von Gloeden, Portrait of a Young Boy, c. 1899.

"You loved me, sweet, and I loved you,
Each of us deemed the other true —
What was it fell between us two ?

Your mouth a crimson flower to me,
Your eyes an  unsung melody
Woven to which I fain would be.

Each unto each we were complete,
No sound unto my ears was sweet
As the soft echo of your feet.

Was it because we loved too well,
We tired and broke the fervid spell ?
Wearied of heaven, longed for hell?

I know not, and I do not fret,
Because I hear that you forget
Even that we have ever met.

Yes, I remember without pain,
Ou joy in sunshine and in rain,
And only sigh to love again."

Standley Addleshaw (aka. Alan Stanley)
in: Michael Matthew Kailor (ed.)
Lad's Love. An Anthology of Uranian Poetry and Prose
Volume 1, Kansas City, Valancourt Books, 2010, p. 9.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dreaming about...

"You are so beautiful, the both of you, Taormina's lads,
You are pure youth and beauty, you are a caress for my eyes,
You are a song, a dream, a sorrow and a memory,

You are so close, so far away, 
Here and now, such a  long time ago and so far away...
How could I reach you, through the mirror of photography

You are on one side of the photograph,
I am on the other side,
Never, never we will meet... I will look at you for ever... 

I would love so much, so much to love you,
Actually I do, I would love so much to be loved by you...
Or just to be looked at, where I am, who I am, on the other side of the photograph...

So much sun, so much light, I love the curves, the shapes, the teen grace,
I love what is shown as much as what is hidden, 
I love you, Taormina's shepherds, I love the both of you...

I would love so much to hear your voice and your laughs,
I would love so much to feel you, so close, so close,
I just love you through a photograph, on the other side of the mirror...

It was such a warm day, such a summer day, at the peak of a wave,
At the peak of the hot wave... in the Taormina's wilderness...
I would love so much to caress the curves, the curves of the hot wave,
The curves of your bodies, so hot young sheperds from Taormina...

Perhaps we will meet, somewhere, elsewhere...
Perhaps we will meet if I can go through  this photograph,
If I can reach you, on the other side of this print,
If I can reach you, in Taormina's wilderness...

My Pasqualino, what is the name of your friend, so tender, so graceful ?
I love the curves, the grace of your friend, while he looks at you...

I would love to be a Joshua tree, to be a cicada, or just a rock,
A rock in Taormina's wilderness,
I would love to be a sun's beam, to be the breathe of the wind,
And to caress the both of you, so close, so far away,
From somewhere else, from the other side of the photograph"

Anonymous poem, Von Gloeden Archive, Call number ca 1900/anon/17.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Partenza vers la beauté !

Comme l'a remarqué l'un des lecteurs perspicaces de mon blog, la photographie de von Gloeden que j'ai postée sous le titre "Orfeo" (et qui fait partie de ma collection personnelle) a été choisie par Achille Essebac pour la couverture de son beau livre "Partenza... vers la beauté !", racontant son voyage en Italie. Ce livre mythique est à présent dans ma bibliothèque, grâce à la générosité de mon amie Nicole.

As one of the clever readers of my blog stressed it, the von Gloeden photograph I posted in my previous message, "Orfeo" (part of my private collection), was chosen by Achille Essebac for the cover of his beautiful book "Partenza... towards beauty !", an account of his journey across Italy. This mythical book is now in my library, thanks to the generosity of my friend Nicole.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Von Gloeden, ca 1900 (private collection)

"Teach me to kiss the Dorian flute,
The Dorian pipe to blow;
I with my own breath would salute
Great Pan before I go;
And may the genius of the place
Adopt me in the shepherd race!"

So, perched on Monte Venere,
I prayed a little goat-skin boy
To leave his herd and sit by me,
And teach me all the shepherd's joy.
"What is your name?" to him I said:
"Orfèo," blithe reply he made. 

I took the flute, I took the pipe;
No reed would to my breath respond,
He laughed to see me blow, and wipe
My lips, the pretty vagabond;
Still nature's child, though notes I snatch,
Was victor in that singing match.

But I was paid when, as behooved,
I threw into his shaggy lap
The gifts by ancient time approved,
My London scarf and Naples cap;
And, as of old, the happy boy
Leaped high, and clapped his hands for joy".

George Edward Woodberry

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Youth, beauty, flowers and love.

Von Gloeden, Young man with a crown of flowers (ca. 1900)

"Dear Pancrazio,

Thank you so much for your letter and for the news from Taormina. I feel so sad, so sorry about the raids of fascist police. How did they dare ? You told me they destroyed so many photographic plates... No print will ever be possible from them... Fascists are killing dreams, desires, imagination and just humanity...

Is there still a space for imagination, for longing, for desire ? Are we still allowed to dream about beauty and youth ? Is it still possible to dream about a photograph ? It is still possible to have a private, an intimate space where one could love who he/she wants?

Dear Pancrazio, the photographs of von Gloeden are an horizon, a landscape, an eldorado, a paradise... Looking at them made me happy... I know I cannot go beyond the photograph, I cannot go through the photographic print: the cute lade is somewhere else, out of reach.

These photographs are so perfect, so elaborated, so relevant. The stage set up, the pose of the model, his face expression, the props, everything is so  beautiful...

What Fascist police does not understand is that such pictures are not pornography, they are just an hymn to the beauty of lads, they are a visual translation of so many Greek and Roman texts we studied in our schools, gymnasia and universities....

The model's nudity is not my main focus... I feel seduced by the whole stage set-up, by flowers and plants, by the model's face, by the curves of his body, by  the way he is standing in front of the camera...

I have a small collection of Von Goeden's photographs. Most of them are vintage prints, I have a few later prints..

I felt in love with a few of von Gloeden's boys. I talk to them when I look at their photographs, sometimes I ever write poems for them.. They make me dream, they make me happy, they answer in such a perfect way to my dreams, to my desires...

Beyond their sepia backgound, dear Pancrazio, these photographs are such an inspiration, such a world to dive in...

My dear Pancrazio, of course I felt in love with the  photograph you sent me.. Comments are useless, silence is required.

So many thanks from the depth of my heart

All the best


Von Gloeden Archive, 13 May 1935 (1935/05/13)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Une archéologie du désir / Archaeology of desire

Ce sont des objets sans âge, venus de la nuit des temps, des tréfonds de la mémoire. C'est la plus primitive des technologies, celle des métaux que l'on fait fondre, que l'on moule, avec lesquels on façonne des coffres massifs, des sarcophages intimes où va s'imprimer le souvenir d'un amant, d'un amour. 

Ce sont des objets de l'âge du plomb fondu, aux racines du coeur et de la mémoire, ce sont les reliquaires du désir qui se referment sur l'empreinte d'un amant, d'un amour, évanescente et immortelle comme une fresque de Pompéi, comme une photographie de von Gloeden...

These are ageless artefacts, inherited from the most remote past, from the very depth of memory. It is the most primitive of human technologies, melting metals, molding them, sculpting chests (or safes ?), intimate sarcophagi where the memory of a lover, the memory of love will be printed.

These are artefacts from the age of melted lead, at the roots of the heart and memory, these are reliquaries of desire one can close upon the print of a lover, of a lover, fragile and ever-lesting as a Pompei frescoe, as a von Gloeden photograph...

Ouvrir, refermer. Se souvenir, oublier. Regretter, espérer. Aimer encore, aimer toujours. Trouver les mots, écouter le silence. Les reliquaires amoureux de Gaston Marie Martin invitent à une archéologie du désir, si profond, si loin, dans la mémoire d'un autre, dans une vie antérieure.

Ouvrir les boites, déplier les diptyques ou les triptyques, c'est entrer dans l'intimité d'un coeur, c'est partager une mémoire.

Opening, closing down. Remembering, forgetting. Being sorry, hoping. Being still in love, loving forever. Finding the right words, listening to silence. The loving reliquaries of Gaston Marie Martin are an invitation towards an archaeology of desire, so deep, so far away, within the memory of someone else, in a previous life.

Opening the boxes, unfolding diptychs or triptychs, it is like entering a human heart, it is sharing a memory.

Que de rêves, que de souvenirs, que de regards, que de caresses, que de mots d'amour s'envolent lorsqu'on ouvre le coffre, le coffre de plomb qui enferme les amours d'un autre temps, d'une autre vie...

So many dreams and memories, so many gazes, caresses and loving words are flying away when I open the chest, the lead chest locking up the loves of another life, of another time...

Qui es-tu, toi que j'ai tant aimé et dont je ne sais plus le nom... ? Les fils ténus du rêve, du désir me permettent de passer de l'autre côté du miroir et de te dire, encore et toujours, des mots d'amour doux comme nos caresses, ailleurs et dans une autre vie, il y a si longtemps, avant que le métal durcisse, avant que la photographie s'estompe...

Who are you, you I loved so much and whose name I forgot... ? The so fragile threads of dream and desire allow me to to go across the mirror and to tell you, again and for ever, loving words sweet as our caresses, in another place, in another time, such a long time ago, before lead hardened, before the photograph faded away....

Gaston Marie Martin est un sculpteur et photographe français  d'une grande originalité, qui élabore, d'exposition en exposition, une archéologie du désir, un art de la mémoire.

Gaston Marie Martin is a French sculptor and photograph, a very original artist. Along his many exhibitions, he is creating something like an archaeology of desire, an art of memory.

Vous pouvez visiter son site web ici

You can visit his website here

Friday, September 9, 2011

A blossoming boy

"Dear Wilhelm,

This is the last photograph I purchased, in your villa at Taormina, and its is now within a frame, against a wall in my living room.

As always, your photographic art makes me dream, takes me so far away and so deep within myself. Everything is shown, everything is said, everything is expressed... This photograph is a visual poem about youth, about young male beauty and sensuality, about this secrete and sublime lad's love burning in the heart, in the soul of older men.

Such a photograph is a world to dream about, a love story to  imagine, a endless dialogue to start with a splendid, with a blossoming boy. Flowers of spring, flowers of youth, flowers of a blossoming boy, at the threshold of manhood.

The set-up of your photograph, the balance between what is shown, what is hidden, the grace of the pose, the enigm of the face expression, of the gaze diving deep into an unknown horizon... Everything in your photograph sings to my ears, speaks to my heart, fullfils my secrete dreams, my unsaid hopes.

I love the pose of your model, offered to your mechanical eye, at the same time hiding what he is thinking about, who he is. This photograph leaves such an open space for imagination and poetry...

I could sing forever the feelings, the thoughts, the memories, the longings this photograph, this beautiful lad inspire to me...

Only blind eyes could consider a photograph as a mere surface. For me, it has such a depth, such an horizon... Looking at this photograph, on the wall of my living room, will be for me a way to travel far far away, to the ropes of Mount Etna, to the cliffs of Taormina... I will also travel through time, until classical Antiquity, to Athens, to Alexandria, or to Taorminium...

In the crazy time, the crazy society I am living in, I don't know if it still allowed to fall in love with a model on a photograph, with a photograph... I could embrace just a shade, just a ghost, a photograph is nothing but a paper with a printing of light and shade. This blossoming boy I will never meet, never caress, he is far away, he is absent. At the same time, he is so present, I can touch and reach his essence, his eternal beauty, his youth blossoming for ever...

I will tell him loving words everyday and I know that he will listen to them and understand them, within the frame....

I love him so much and I am so happy we actually met, thanks to one of your photographs, my dear Wilhelm...

Yours, as always


Von Gloeden Archive, Letter from Philip to Wilhelm von Gloeden, 23 June 1906 (Call number 1906/23/06/12)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Machines à rêves / Dream Machines

Boîtes à secrets photographiques de Gaston-Marie Martin (créations uniques)

Issu d'une famille d'artistes, Gaston-Marie Martin baigne dans le flot incessant des échanges et des révélations... Porté par cet héritage, il surgit sur la scène contemporaine en bousculant médiums et frontières.

Stupeur devant ces objets : boîtes, reliquaires, instruments de mémoire, fossiles jaillissants d'un imaginaire qui mêle histoire de la peinture, épopée de la photographie.

Célébration d'une fête secrète peuplée de corps masculinsEnchâssés au coeur d'un exceptionnel corpus de boîtes toutes plus précieuses et inattendues, les garçons de G.M. Martin nous étreignent par leur présence fascinante. 

Faune Barberini, lutteurs de Canova, icônes des photographes taorminiens, l'artiste revisite, restitue, réinvente. Les boîtes à secrets photographiques de G.M. Martin  posent de manière personnelle la question du nu dans le champ artistique : statut, support, symbolisme.

En savoir plus: ici 

Boxes with secrete photographs by Gaston-Marie Martin (hand-made and unique objects)

Born in a family of artists, Gaston-Marie Martin grew up among a endless flow of creativity and revelations... With such an heritage, he appears on the contemporary art scene and subverts media conventions as well as borders.

These objects are a source of fascination for the viewer: boxes, reliquaire, memory tools, fossils born from an imagination mixing together the history of painting and the epics of photography.

Here is celebrated a secrete ceremony haunted by male bodies. Hidden within an unbelievable collection of boxes, precious as well as unexpected, G.M. Martin's boys move us through their fascinating presence.

Barberini Faun, Canova's wrestlers, icons of photographers from Taormina... The artist revisits classical references, he recreates, he reinvents. These boxes with secrete photographs by G.M. Martin raise in a very personal way the issue of nudity in art: its status, its medium, its symbolism. 

To know more: here 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love and Life

Paul Belmondo. Engraving in R. Peyrefitte, Les Amours de Lucien de Samosate.

Love and Life

"Life is ! so, Sweet, we both must make
The best of it, and ever take
All that it holds with both our hands,
And keep it ere the shifting sands
Of life run out, and our hopes shake.

Snatch now the joys for which I ache,
Sleep comes so soon. Awake, awake !
For life is love,  not wealth or lands:
Life is so, Sweet.

Without your love my heart would break,
For that great prize my all I stake,
You bind me with love's silken strands
The strength of which none understands.
I only know for your love's sake
Life is so sweet !"

A. Newman (aka Francis Edwin Murray ?)
Lad's Love. An Anthology of Uranian Poetry and Prose, II
Edited by Michael Matthew Kaylor
Kansas City, Valancourt Books, 2010, p. 69.

Les Amours de Lucien de Samosate

Friday, August 19, 2011

A boy's absence

Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929) - "Charlie Mitchell"

"Dear boy, I'm sad.
I miss your smile,
Which for a while
Had made me glad.

In dreams, dear lad,
I see your eyes,
Which no disguise
Have ever had.

Do you still prize
The books we read ?
The days long sped
Recall with sighs ?

The flowers are dead,
Our summer's gone,
I grive alone — 
All joy has fled."

A. Newman (aka. Francis Edwin Murray ?)
in: Michael Matthew Kaylor. Lad's Love. An Anthology of Uranian Poetry and Prose, Kansas City, Valancourt Books, vol. 1, 2010, p. 98

When Uranian poets collected von Gloeden's photographs...

An excerpt from: Michael Matthew Kaylor, Secreted Desires. The Major Uranians: Hopkins, Pater and Wilde, Brno, Czech Republic: Masaryk University, 2006, p. 86-87

This book is available as a free .pdf download here

"For their own more private and masturbatory purposes, the Uranians  collected artworks of a different sort: nudes of Italian boys by photographers such as Wilhelm von Gloeden (1856-1931), residing in Taormina, Sicily, and his distant relative Wilhelm (Guglielmo) von Plüschow (1852-1930), residing mostly in Rome — photographs that have themselves become collectables dispersed by auction houses and chronicled in sales catalogues. However, for the Uranian scholar, catalogues have much to tell, and von Gloeden’s guest book was itself a catalogue of the paederastically-inclined, and included the signature of Oscar Wilde, one of his staunchest admirers.2  Like children with packets of baseball cards, the Uranians exchanged these salacious photographs as a form of pictorial insinuation and friendship. In a New Year’s Eve letter for  1889, Edmund Gosse (1849-1928) thanks Symonds for sending him one such photograph, undoubtedly as a Christmas gift: ‘As I sat in the Choir [of Westminster Abbey during Robert Browning’s funeral], with George Meredith at my side, I peeped at it again and again’.3 Boys will be boys — but there were real dangers involved in such exchanges and glances, though the Uranians had, it must be admitted, ‘the ability to devise elegant stratagems to legitimize sexual display’.4 It is difficult to imagine an ‘elegant stratagem’ that would have ‘legitimized’ Gosse’s constant peeping at a nude, provocatively posed Sicilian boy during Browning’s funeral — however, for the Uranians the danger was half the pleasure.5"

(1) The fact that these two paederastic aristocrats, who were also photographers, left Germany to reside in Italy is explained by Vicki Goldberg in ‘A Man-Made Arcadia Enshrining Male Beauty’, New York Times (13 August 2000), ‘Art/Architecture’ section, pp.30-31: ‘Germany in the 1880s was still prosecuting men for nude sunbathing, but in Sicily, male children ordinarily went nude on the beach, and most Mediterranean countries tacitly accepted homosexuality as a passing phase in a boy’s development’ (p.30). She also comments on von Gloeden’s success as a photographer: Not bad for a man who might have well been arrested for child pornography in our supposedly more tolerant and certainly less wilfully innocent culture. Von Gloeden was interested only in young boys and early adolescents […] He photographed some of the same models for years but usually stopped doing so as they reached early manhood. A couple of young children who cannot be much more than 5 or 6 also turn up in his photographs. (P.31)
‘Von Gloeden, a young Prussian country squire, left his homeland for Italy to regain his physical (he suffered from a disabling lung condition) and mental health (the psychological distress he experienced as a pederast unable to indulge his erotic fantasies)’ — ‘Wilhelm von Gloeden’ [Exhibition press release], Throckmorton Fine Art, New York City, NY (exhibition of 12 July – 9 September 2000).

(2) Goldberg, p.30.

(3)  As quoted in Ann Thwaite, Edmund Gosse: A Literary Landscape, 1849-1928 (London: Secker & Warburg, 1984), p.323. I  ish to thank Dr Rictor Norton for corresponding with me regarding this point. According to d’Arch Smith, Symonds made such gifts to others as well, as a sign of friendship and understanding: ‘Symonds was extremely kind to [Charles Kains] Jackson, [and] sent him photographs of nude Italian youths from the studios of von Gloeden and others’ (p.18). It should be noted that von Gloeden’s photographs were not always treated as mere pornography: ‘His work was shown in international exhibitions and published in art journals, which doubtless preferred the more discreet images’ (Goldberg, p. 30). The details I have provided for each of Wilhelm von Gloeden’s photographs reproduced here — photographs von Gloeden produced in multiple copies — merely accounts for one of the extant prints. These details come from Peter Weiermair, ed.  with intro., Wilhelm von Gloeden: Erotische Photographien (Cologne, Germany: Taschen, 1993).

(4)  Goldberg, p.31.

(5) George Meredith wrote a poem commemorating Browning’s funeral, ‘Now Dumb Is He Who Walked the World to Speak’. This poem does not mention Gosse’s prurient asides

Monday, August 15, 2011

That is the question

"I wonder why my heart beats fast
As you I see, coming past .
Your step has all the spring of youth,
Your eye the bold brights light of Truth:
Will you my future bless or blast ?

Round you I long my arms to cast
Like ship-wrecked sailors around a mast,
Such confidence I feel. In sooth
I wonder why ? 

Could you love me ? I stand aghast
And tremble at a change so vast:
My love might seem to you uncouth,
It might bring you regret and ruth.
Why has love come to me at last
I wonder ? Why ?"

A. Newman (aka. Francis  Edwin Murray, 1854-1932 ?)
in: Michael Matthew Kaylor. Lad's Love. An Anthology of Uranian Poetry and Prose, Kansas City, Valancourt Books, vol. 1, 2010.

My blog is two years old...

Two years is such a short time... In the virtual world of blogs, however, it is just a long, long time... My blog was not deleted... I did not receive (yet) any hate message. I am still motivated to add new posts, new contents, either photographs, paintings, drawings or texts... 

This blog is a mirror of a part of my life... It is a way to depict my inner world, my feelings, my identity, my dreams and my imagination.

I felt in love with Taormina, with the baron von Gloeden and with some of his models... I find in von Gloeden's photographic art something that makes me dream, that inspires me. It is a world of Arcadia recreated on the shore of Sicilia, it is a world between Antiquity and modernity, just an aesthetic fiction, where Sicily and ancient Greece are an alibi providing a gay desire with its alibi, with its cultural roots, with its visual fullfilment...

Would von Gloeden be allowed to share his photographic art today ? I don't know... On the other hand, his vintage albuminate and argentic prints are collected by major Museums and Libraries today, and are  sometimes displayed in international auctions....

It seems my blog has a small follow-up, and I am very happy to share my vision, my texts and my photographs with so many visitors from so many countries.

Please, feel free to comment, to give some feedback, or just to say "Hi" and why you visit my blog... 

Thanks to all


The Photographic Art of Egon

I love Egon's photographic art... If you want to know more about his artistic universe and his books, you should click  here.
I repost on Sicilian Dreams some sample of Egon's work with his permission. Enjoy !
"For me, it is all about HUMAN EMOTIONS, how to show them, how to explain something unexplained, human soul, human chaos, desires, loves, sorrows. It is the meaning of life for me as a photographer. Human face, especially eyes, hands, and gestures, are magical signs to human soul and heart. Melancho , mystery, surreal fantasy, and often somber physical presence are well recognized qualities of my work. I am after “pure form”, art that shows the mystery of existence. 
 I admire work of photographers of the XIX/XX Century, Photo-Secessionists and members of The New School of American Photography, e.g., Fred Holland Day, Edward Steichen, Gertrude Käsebier, Anne Brigman … and Modern Masters: Joel-Peter Witkin, McDermott & McGough, John Dugdale, Robert ParkeHarrison, Herb Ritts, Greg Gorman, and David Vance …
I am interested in historical and alternative processes in photography, especially unique Cyanotype prints, Palladium/Platinum prints, and Silver Gelatin prints". 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Anonymous poem: A Faun meets a Taormina shepherd

"In the most remote areas of Taormina's wilderness,
Young shepherds met fauns and satyrs, Pan and Dionysos,
Hidding behind a rock, vanishing in a flash, a flash of light.

Most of the time they were mere illusions, a reflection of the sun,
A mirage in Taormina's wilderness, at the peak of the hot wave,
Or just a noise of a rock falling down from a cliff...

But Pasqualino met a faun, a real faun, sitting on a rock,
Far away from the usual paths of Taormina's young shepherds,
So far that he was in the middle of nowhere...

"Are you a god or just an illusion ?", asked Pasqualino.
"Did I love you a long time ago, I am sure I know you",
Answered the faun with his Dionysiac horns...

"Cute shepherd of Taormina, please, play a melody for me,
A melody from your reed flute, perhaps I will sing one for you,
A song of love, of the love of gods for Taormina's shepherds...

Please, have a seat on this rock, beside me, let us sing and dream,
Hope and remember, love and be loved, let me tell you the legend of fauns,
Please tell me the story of your life, where you are from, what you dream about..."

And Pasqualino played the most beautiful of the tunes the boys of Taormina know,
A music wide as an horizon, deep as eyes, sensitive as a caressing hand,
A music of longing and sorrow, of dream and hope, of loneliness and communion.

Wilhelm von Gloeden's camera obscura was able to catch the magic of this encounter,
The encounter of a Faun and of a young shepherd from Taormina,
At the turn of a century, at the threshold of two worlds, reality and imagination.

While looking at this photograph, forever I can listen to this forgotten melody,
To the melody of Fauns meeting young shepherds in the most remote wilderness,
Of Fauns falling in love with them, and crossing the invisible border,

The border between gods and humans, between dream and reality,
Between hope and memory,
So far, so deep, at this crossroads where a lover meet his loved one".

Anonymous poet, around 1907, Von Gloeden Archive, 1907, call number 1907/Anon/12

Ganymedes and Zeus Eagle

As a tribute to the beautiful and sensitive blog To Apenanti Pezodromio. A Gay Reader's Digest 
(written in modern Greek)

Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844)
Ganymedes and the Eagle (1818-1829)
Minneapolis Institute of Arts

"Et Erikthonios engendra le roi des Troiens, Trôos. Et Trôos engendra trois fils irréprochables, Ilos, Assarakos et le divin Ganymèdès, qui fut le plus beau des hommes mortels, et que les Dieux enlevèrent à cause de sa beauté, afin qu'il fût l'échanson de Zeus et qu'il habitât parmi les Immortels."

Homère, Iliade, chant 20, traduction de Leconte de Lisle (1866)

"Erichthonius begat Tros, king of the Trojans, and Tros had three noble sons, Ilus, Assaracus, and Ganymede who was comeliest of mortal men; wherefore the gods carried him off to be Jove's cupbearer, for his beauty's sake, that he might dwell among the immortals. 

Homer, Iliad, 20, translated by Samuel Butler.

Γιος του Έριχθόνιου ο Τρώας ακούστηκε, μέσα στους Τρώες ρηγάρχης,
κι ο Τρώας τρείς πάλε υγιούς ασύγκριτους έγέννησε, τον Ίλο
και τον Ασσάρακο, τον έμνοστο στερνά το Γανυμήδη,
που για τα κάλλη του ξεχώριζε μες στους ανθρώπους όλους'
κι ως ήταν όμορφος, τον άρπαξαν ψηλά οι θεοί στα ουράνια
για κεραστή του Δία, να βρίσκεται στους αθανάτους μέσα.
Το Λαομέδοντα τον άψεγο γέννησε ο Ίλος πάλε,
κι ο Λαομέδοντας εγέννησε τον Τιθωνό, το Λάμπο,
τον Ικετάονα τον πολέμαρχο, τον Πρίαμο, τον Κλυτίο'
κι ο Ασσάρακος τον Κάπη εγέννησε, κι εκείνος τον Αγχίση'
240 και πάλε εγώ του Αγχίση, κι ο Έχτορας του Πρίαμου γιος λογιέται.

Ομήρου: Ιλιάδα (ΧΧ)
Μετάφραση: Ν. Καζαντζάκη - Ι.Θ. Κακριδή