Ok guys, we need to talk about J.C.Leyedecker, and how its a fucking travesty that no one has made a film about him yet.
So Leyendecker was an illustrator during the 1910′s-1940′s. His work was absolutely gorgeous and highly ubiquitous at the time, and his llustrations for the Arrow shirt company created one of the most iconic images of male beauty of the early 20th century. But this icon came with a delicously romantic twist.
So this image of The Arrow Man was both incredibly macho and well built, but also ethereally pretty and dapper. But the model who the drawing was based on cropped up in A LOT of Leyendeckers work. In many he was engaged in casual social scenes with other men, in others he was shaving in the bathroom or getting dressed, broad shouldered, skin glistening, dark blond hair perfectly in place, jaw sharp as a fucking shovel, but with a slightly rounded chin. In one ad for war bonds he even appeared as the statue of liberty. This same man appeared in hundrereds of drawings, each with the same sharp care and attention to detail which makes looking at him almost feel voyeristic.
So this mans image is EVERYWHERE during the early 20th century, and he is a fashion/lifestyle icon for men on par with the female gibson girl. He was the celebrated symbol of male strength, virility, and power.
And man who modeled for Leyendecker’s iconic univerally adored macho man? That would be his lover, Charles Beach.
so all this gorgeously homoerotic artwork defined the image of hyper macho masculinity during the interwar period. Leyendecker painted Beach onto the face of the world, that was his love letter. He basically immortalised the love of his life by making the whole world adore him as much as he did.
Leyendecker’s work would go on to influence the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Norman Rockwell. After his death in 1951, when people figured out that the unmarried man he’d been drawing and living with for decades, right up until the time of his death, was actually his lover, Leyendecker’s name has sadly been pushed out of the history books in favour of more wholesome characters.
And that fucking sucks
I would like to request a full length movie, with all the jazz era glamour and steamy romance that this genius deserved. During a time when homosexual men where thought of as weak deviants, this man not only had the nerve to use his lover as the model for all his great works, but he made him into the STANDARD of what it was to be a man.
J.C. Leyendecker and Charles Beach deserve your rememberance.
Wow this is quite mind blowing when you think about it.