Baltrop, who died of cancer at , did not achieve fame or fortune, although his work is often quoted by his white counterparts (Baltrop is black ). “He’s such a great director of documentaries, and in that particular era, homosexuality was really radical,” Altuzarra said of the photographer’s work. “What’s so special about his work is that, for me, it’s really about love and intimacy and how gay men have to go to the fringes of the city to find love and real connection, to find tender and intimate moments and sex. It feels important and relevant to talk about that today,” he added. Despite the greater acceptance, Grindr, Scruff, and other apps are popular in the gay community, as is Cruise. Some things may have changed, but finding intimacy in a space that is purely our own has not.
Altuzarra is fascinated by the way gay imagery and tropes are represented in art, both in their satire (say, Tom of Finland’s work) and documentation (Baltrop’s or Hujar’s), Altuzarra crosses the same chasm in popular culture. Take Troye Sivan at the 2021 Met Gala, wearing a black Altu dress by Mel Ottenberg with leather armbands (obtained from The Leather Man, a popular Manhattan Leather Fetish Store). Two photos of Sivan wearing the dress went viral in the days after he wore it, entering the internet canon of gay imagery: the first is a mirror selfie of him and Ottenberg, which people jokingly use as a “twink ” and “twink” examples. Dad” gay tropes; the second is a photo of the pop star standing in front of a urinal, with his back to the camera, taken by Olympian Tom Daly at Rihanna’s request (yes, actually).
Altuzarra said that when he found out that the client was more like him He felt “surprisingly relieved” at the time. “I just told myself, ‘Okay, this 2021 I know what to do,'” he said “I never want people to feel like I’m designating myself as a voice for gender fashion,” he added, “because it’s not necessarily what I know. He said he wouldn’t mind if Altu continued to be “super niche”. “It doesn’t have to be for everyone, I’m fine with that.” When you start a brand, you feel like you have to appeal to as many people as possible, but why? ”
When Altuzarra contacted the Alvin Baltrop Trust, he learned that Baltrop had filmed He acquired thousands of never-before-seen photographic negatives, which he could not afford to develop throughout his life. A portion of the proceeds from the collection will be used to develop and preserve these images. Baltrop knew many of his subjects personally. In a way, his work A love letter to his gay community. Altu is for Joseph Altuzarra.