Legendary COLT Studio Founder & Male Physique Photographer Jim French Dies at 84
Jim French: July 14, 1932-June 15, 2017 (Image via SHOWstudio)
Via BobMizer.org: Jim French, the renowned male physique photographer known for his hypermasculine imagery of muscular and sometimes hairy men has died at 84.
1969 illustration entitled “Longhorns Dance” (Image by Jim French)
French’s partner, Jeff Turner, confirmed French died in his sleep June 15.
French’s wildly popular macho aesthetic, rendered in photography and drawings, made his work among the most sought-after in the field of erotic art.
COLT Studio superstud Roger Callard at left with Mae West in the movie Sextette in 1978 (Crown)
After being discharged from the military in 1957, French moved to NYC, where he worked as a fashion illustrator and summered on Fire Island, surrounded by exhibitionistic men in stark contrast to the conservatism of the times. Doing erotic work under the pseudonym Arion, he began a mail-order company called Luger, after the German pistol.
Luger was a hit, but French sold his share to a partner and launched COLT Studio in 1967. The business boomed immediately. As a photographer, he often shot under the name Rip Colt, choosing models who defined his taste so thoroughly that a COLT man became easy to envision — brawny, muscular to the point of swollen, hung, glistening, idealized.
Classic examples of COLT men (Images by Jim French/COLT Studio)
French eventually left for California, where he launched Target Studios.
Along with his successes as an artist, in 1972 he published the quintessential male physique collection Man. He went on to publish many more books, including Another Man; Jim French Men,; Quorum; Opus Deorum; Masc.; The Art of Jim French; The Art of the Male Nude; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor: Jim French Polaroids (pictured); and Jim French Diaries: The Creator of Colt Studio.
In his final years, French marketed prints of his classic imagery.
French pictured recently with poet Alex Gildzen:
(Image via Alex Gildzen)
Tributes from porn legend Mickey Squires aka Richard Bernstein and other admirers:
(Image via Facebook)
(Image via Facebook)