Intimate erotic portraits from the Fire Island Pines photographer
In 1975 Tom Bianchi moved to New York City, working at Columbia Pictures as in-house counsel. Columbia gave Bianchi a Polaroid SX – 70 camera, which he took to the Pines on summer weekends; those pictures became the 2013 book Fire Island Pines: Polaroids 1975-1983. Now, some 44 years later, we get a first look at another extraordinary collection of Bianchi’s Polaroids, taken in his East 9th St apartment.
Whereas Fire Island offers an expansive communal experience situated on a sunny sand bar out in the Atlantic under huge open skies, Bianchi’s New York apartment was an intimate, track-lit den, a safe stage where he and his friends played out erotic night games. Playful, nostalgic and sexy, Tom Bianchi: 63 E 9th Street is an essential companion book to Fire Island Pines and an important document of urban gay life.
Tom Bianchi was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 1970. He became a corporate attorney, eventually working with Columbia Pictures in New York, painting and drawing on weekends. His artwork came to the attention of Betty Parsons and Carol Dreyfuss and they gave him his first one-man painting show in 1980. In 1984, he was given his first solo museum exhibition at the Spoleto Festival. After Bianchi’s partner died of AIDS in 1988, he turned his focus to photography, producing Out of the Studio, a candid portrayal of gay intimacy. Its success led to producing numerous monographs, including On the Couch, Deep Sex, In Defense of Beauty and Fire Island Pines.