David Leddick has moved from his prodigious gifts as a photographer to establish himself rather swiftly in the realm of art historian/commentator. In "Male Nude Now" Leddick opens this well designed book with a terse essay and then lets the artists speak for themselves. The subject: The growing acceptance and interest in the male nude as depicted by photographers, draughtsmen, painters and sculptors in the 21st century. In placing his subject approach in chapters/divisions such as Experimentalists, Fantasists, Neoclassicists, Sensualists etc he attempts to emphasize various approaches to the male nude. It works. Though the dividing lines are vague, they do set up a dialogue for the viewer. One of the most gratifying aspects of this book is Leddick's finely researched coverage of artists who appreciate and celebrate the male nude. There are the well known artists such as Don Bachardy, Duane Michaels, Tom Bianchi, Michael Leonard, Chuck Close, David Hockney, et al - all represented by fresh works not visible in other books. But it is his inclusion of such fine young talents as Wes Hempel, John Sonsini, Graydon Parrish, Wolfgang Tillmans etc that make this a voyage of discovery. The reproductions are true, divided bewteen richly colored images and all phases of Black and White photographs. And in keeping with the documentary style, he includes photos and bios of each of the artists he has selected.
This is a fine addition to the literature of art, to the dialogue of the ongoing struggle of presenting the nude male frontally that faces all artists (and viewers), and to the sophisticated art books that grace the libraries and coffee tables of sensitive people. Bravo!