Back before Jeff Stryker, before John Holmes, before the peep-show booths that showed 8mm film loops there was Bruce of LA. Bruce Harry Bellas came to Los Angeles in the mid-1940s hot to shoot the musclemen
of Venice Beach. The Golden Age of Physique Photography was synonymous with
Southern California, and Bruce rode the wave of the movement with great success. He is known for his stylized technique and aesthetic through which he presented the finest young physiques with kitsch humor,
Hollywood glamour, and classical elegance. After 1968, with a newfound liberation in the acceptance and legality of male nudity, the era of physique photography came to a close. Bruce’s wonderful world of nubile, muscle guys who wear cheecky posing straps still lives on.
The StephenCohen Gallery on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, in their first exhibition of male erotic nudes, is showing 53 Bruce of LA prints that have taken over the gallery in a wonderully well-hung show. Yes, Blanche, it’s nice to be hung well.
– Phil Tarley (PhilTarley.com)