“Comin’ At Ya: The Homoerotic 3-D Photographs of Denny Dennyfield”–they come alive

Chapman, David L. and Waugh, Thomas. “Coming at Ya”:The Homoerotic 3-D Photographs of Denny Denfield”, Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007.

They Come Alive

Amos Lassen

Denny Denfield was an amateur physique photographer in the early 1950’s. His photographs which never received public viewing because of the temper of the times are extremely interesting and in some cases risqué. In fact, even in their naiveté, they are somewhat roguish. Looking at them in this new volume allows us to see precursors to the modern age of gay male pornography but there is something more than that here—sheer beauty.

The photographs are known as stereography and by looking at what appears to be two identical photos, with the aid of the glasses that come with the book, shows a kind of photography that many of us are not familiar with.

When the 3-D camera in a compact, easy to use format became popular in 1947, Denfield was able to capture these wonderful male images. They are kitschy, they are sexy and they are beautiful. We have an absolutely amazing collection here.

With the photographs, we get a narrative by David L. Chapman who owns this collection of male pictures and he explains a great deal about Denfield’s life and work. He explains how that before the 1970’s, all homoerotic art was considered dangerous and that Denfield was in part responsible for opening the gates to artistic freedom of the homosexual image.

Thomas Waugh, a Montreal scholar and writer also contributes a valuable essay to the book as he shows how Denfield’s photographs fit into the historic context of homoeroticism.

What is the true value of a book like this is that many of us have never been aware of the work of the photographer. Now we have a beautiful book which contains beautiful and exciting photographs that might have been lost to us forever.

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