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.
Malcolm X on his last visit to Accra had announced a desire to create a foundation he called the Organization of Afro-American Unity. His proposal included taking the plight of the African-Americans to the United Nations and asking the world council to intercede on the part of beleaguered blacks. The idea was so stimulating to the community of African-American residents that I persuaded myself I should return to the States to help establish the organization.
We all read Malcolm’s last letter to me.
I was shocked and surprised when your letter arrived but I was also pleased because I only had to wait two months for this one whereas previously I had to wait almost a year. You see I haven’t lost my wit. (smile)
Your analysis of our people’s tendency to talk over the head of the masses in a language that is too far above and beyond them is certainly true. You can communicate because you have plenty of (soul) and you always keep your feet firmly rooted on the ground.
I am enclosing some articles that will give you somewhat of an idea of my daily experiences here and you will then be better able to understand why it sometimes takes me a long time to write. I was most pleased to learn that you might be hitting in this direction this year. You are a beautiful writer and a beautiful woman. You know that I will always do my utmost to be helpful to you in any way possible so don’t hesitate.
Signed Your brother Malcolm
(Excerpt from Maya Angelou’s memoir A Song Flung Up To Heaven)
Many years ago when we took over the show I was like ‘We should go out all night and then go straight to do the Breakfast Show’. I remember being at my house, it was like an after party after the Brits, then another after party, and then I said 'Hey! We can all go to my house!’ And I remember a man being in my kitchen, who I didn’t know, and I said 'Hello!’, and he said 'Hi! Your car’s here to go to Radio 1.’ I said 'It shouldn’t be here until 6.’, and he went 'Yeah. It’s 6:10, you’re on the radio in 20 minutes.’ So I had to get everyone out of my house and bring them into Radio 1. And when we got here there were no producers. So it was me, my friend Emily, my friend Jamie, a cardboard cutout of Robbie Williams, and Harry Styles. And that’s actually what happened.
Nick reminiscing about THAT post-Brits show, and deciding they’re gonna do that again this year cause they “didn’t got fired last time, let’s risk it again!”