NON-FICTION BOOK
by
Jack Fritscher

DUELING PHOTOGRAPHERS
GEORGE DUREAU and ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE
Profiles in Gay Courage: Volume 2

by Jack Fritscher, PhD

Reviews/Comment - Foreword - Preface (PDF)

Take 1: An Eyewitness Camera (text) (PDF)

Take 2: Introductory Phone Call to George Dureau (text) (PDF)

Take 3: Dureau on Dureau Video Verite (text) (PDF)

Take 4: Dureau in Studio (text) (PDF)

Take 5: Hello, George Dureau: San Francisco Calling (text) (PDF)

Other Works by Jack Fritscher (PDF)

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This essential art history by eyewitness-participant Fritscher examines one of 20-century art’s great questions of influence and mentorship — George Dureau to Robert Mapplethorpe — two icons colliding around race, primacy, and originality. In lively transcripts, beloved New Orleans painter-photographer-sculptor Dureau holds court on life, lensing black men, and mentoring Mapplethorpe. While ambitious student Robert eclipsed his teacher by inflecting George’s regional work for New York tastes, neither was a villain in the ten-year tutorial-duel that ended when both suddenly stopped shooting black men in 1988.

This legacy book, authenticated by friends and family, is a mandate. Both photographers asked historian Fritscher whom they knew for years to tell their stories. So he first wrote about his 1970s bicoastal lover Robert in Drummer magazine in 1978, and began recording George immediately after Robert’s death in 1989.

His immersive introduction curating the overshadowed Dureau leads Virgil-like through important chat sessions captured by phone, and video on Dureau’s French Quarter balcony, 1989-1991, revealing Dureau, demanding, generous, uproarious, pursuing art despite the odds surrounding homosexuality, race, and disability.

This is George speaking for himself, fit and on top before the Millennium, Hurricane Katrina, and Alzheimer’s took their toll. Fritscher’s release of this archival material, part of his Mapplethorpe canon, is a great gift and an act of love for Dureau, Mapplethorpe, and their models. This illustrated fast-read is essential art research illuminating two Titans at the end of the 1980s, recalling the way they really were before their lives became legends that became myth.



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