Jim French

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Credited for the cover photograph of Hand In Glove.

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Jim French (born James Thomas French, July 14, 1932 – June 16, 2017) was an American artist, illustrator, photographer, filmmaker, and publisher. He is best known for his association with Colt Studio which he, using the pseudonym Rip Colt, (and with business partner Lou Thomas) created in late 1967. Thomas parted from the endeavor in 1974 leaving French to continue to build what would become one of the most successful gay male erotica companies in the U.S. French left a legacy of homoerotic images in artwork, illustrations, photo sets, slides, film, fine-art photographs, magazines, books and calendars that presented his work exclusively and set a new standard in photography of men.French began drawing and photographing male erotica in the mid-1960s while working as an illustrator and artist for Madison Avenue advertising agencies. His first published book, Man, was issued in 1972. It was one of the first photo books of homoerotic full frontal nudes ever. Other books include Another Man, Jim French Men, Quorum, Opus Deorum, Masc., The Art of Jim French and The Art of the Male Nude. Publication of Colt magazines began in 1969 with the digest-size "Manpower!". During the 1970s, French began marketing his short films in 8mm format; they were soon collected on video-cassette format, which were remastered for DVD format in the 1990s. French's artwork and photography has been hailed as “iconic, groundbreaking, and singularly influential.” Victor Skrebneski writes in his introduction to the monograph, Opus Deorum: "Jim French, master photographer, demonstrates controlled intensity and passion for his work. His images bridge time, lock memory, fire provocation. That is his art."French died in his home in Palm Springs, California, at age 84.

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