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#TBT: The Mid-Century Paradise of George Quaintance

#TBT: The Mid-Century Paradise of George Quaintance

One of the first works of erotic art I ever saw (when I was way too young to be seeing that stuff) was the George Quaintance rendering of the young man with the giant grapes. That I found it in my father's handkerchief drawer is another story entirely. I mean, who uses handkerchiefs anymore?

Seeing that beautifully rendered work certainly inspired me to create my own erotic art, much to the chagrin of my parents. But I have loved and romanticized Quaintance and his art-driven life for as long as I can remember.

Ken Furtado and John Waybright's Quaintance: The Short Life of an American Art Pioneer lovingly paints a detailed portrait of a forward-thinking creator who died too young (1957) to realize the cultural impact of his heavenly artwork. For his paintings are heavenly in that they inspire one to breathtaking heights, and they transport you to a utopian man-on-man dream world of slippery muscles and sly grins.

Below and on the following pages the authors have granted us rights to publish an excerpt from their ebook, available on Smashwords, that describes Quaintance's life and work in Arizona. — Christopher Harrity

 

Chapter 6: Rancho Siesta

Rancho Siesta was many things. It was the name of the Arizona studio where George Quaintance lived and worked. It was an ingenious and overwhelmingly successful marketing concept. And, in the minds and hearts of Quaintance’s legions of admirers, it was the closest the American West ever came to an honest-to-goodness incarnation of Xanadu or Shangri La.

The bricks-and-mortar version of Rancho Siesta still exists today, without the magical overlay. It is much the same as it was when George lived there: a medium-sized home in east-central Phoenix, straddling two adjacent lots. It is unusual for the area in that it has two stories and a basement. The property is surrounded by a tall block wall in some places and by cast-iron fencing in others. Decades-old oleanders nearly obscure the view of the building where George Quaintance, Victor Garcia and Tom Syphers once ran the Quaintance Studio. And while there might not have been the six-shooters, cowpokes, livestock, watering troughs and camaraderie depicted in the Rancho Siesta of Quaintance’s advertisements, photo sets and canvases, there was surely a steady and heady parade of beefcake in the many models that George painted and Victor photographed.

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Above: Montage of a few of the man snapshots Quaintance saved, showing him in various dance costumes and poses.

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