Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved
The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved<br>The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

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"Whenever I use BLACK it relates to some history of Africans in that particular place. It’s the idea of the color BLACK as a metaphor, or as a representation of African-Americans. It’s the notion of BLACK- BLACKNESS - and all its other meanings in relation to the history of race..."

- Fred Wilson

"Most of my fortitude to continue doing the work comes from the moral outrage I feel about the injustices that Black people endure disproportionately daily."

- N. Abdul-Wakil

"In the end, what matters is not skin shade but pan-African consciousness. Loving your complexion, your nose, lips, hair length and texture, no matter what the politics or trends decide, and simply be. That's the problem with us (African folks). We're still learning how to love ourselves. So used to glorifying others and putting others first..."

- Dredlocks Tree

The REEL Black Same Gender Loving Filmography Resource (A 24/7 ONLINE FILM DATABASE)

The REEL Black Same Gender Loving Filmography Resource (A 24/7 ONLINE FILM DATABASE)
Click The Pic To Access The Film Library Database! (166 Films)
LAST UPDATE: Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Maia: Prometheus (Hardcover)
Black Male Nudes by
Brazilian Photographer Marcelo Maia

Man! I got a good value after going to the post office to pick up Maia: Prometheus. This little hardcover book is out-of-print. It measures a small and low profile 4.25" wide by 6.25" in height by 0.5" thick. I got a good value because if you look on Amazon.com there are merchants selling the book from $14.00 (which is what I paid for it plus $7.00 for expedited shipping) all the way up to a staggering $394.86!!!!! I have a policy of not buying anything used (It has to be in fine to mint condition), and if I'm feeling desperate I may go for very good condition. The merchant I respect and got it from was Powells Books (their last copy) and the grade was "Used - Acceptable" (aka "good condition" which is far less than my usual standards. I took a leap of faith as it has been at the back of my mind for some time to acquire. Anyway, I lucked out and got a perfectly mint condition book with a fine to near mint cover. Go figure. The original retail price on the book is $13 duckets. So in essence I paid $1 ducket more for an out-of-print book from over 10 years ago!!

As you might have already guessed, Maia: Prometheus is a book of black & white photography of nude Black men. The photography is quite superb in it's artistic approach, and the book's small low profile size works very damn well in the looks department! There are 48 picture plates altogether.

The book is described as... "In this lyrical first collection from photographer Marcello Maia, the Black male nude as subject is taken beyond conventional expectation and experience. Working specifically with the formal elements of composition and light, Maia not only dramatically displays the beauty of the male form but also challenges the existing depictions of Black men as photographic subject. Sensual, erotic, beautiful, and stunning, Marcelo Maia's work is sure to attract a wide audience appreciative of both the technical skill and artistic grace of his portraits."

The photography is quite excellent and the portraits comes across as works of art and not soft-porn for the sake of showing off like a lot of other books do.

I came across this book at my friend Antonio's house and have always wanted it for years now. I got my wish at a ridiculously low price and real happy now.

ROD's Tribute To Marvin Vines
SUNRISE: 1943 to SUNSET: 1997
Soul On Canvas
African-American Phyne Art


For years I have been a BIG, BIG fan of African-American artist/painter Marvin Vines (1943-1997). Marvin Vines otherwise known as "Marvines" (his signature on some of his own works) was a nationally acclaimed artist from Toledo, Ohio.


I can't quite remember how I stumbled upon his work, but it probably happened through my budding desire to start collecting Black male calendars back in the day somewhere between 1999 to 2001. All my calendars are photographic in nature, however, this one SPECIAL calendar I own has 12 months of Marvines' artwork ("I AM WHO I AM").

And as you can see above "I AM WHO I AM" is a powerful collage of Black men. It's absolutely superb!



Upon seeing his work for the first time back then, I was instantly attracted to his style and flava of subject matters. I mean... I was asking myself: Who is this brutha with the incredible talent? Where do I get more of his work? Why am I homo-erotically attracted to the body sculptures of the Black men in his subject matters of works? Why is the majority (not all) of subject matters of his his artwork stemming around Black men?



I've long and often wondered (still to this day) if Marvin Vines was same gender loving (SGL); not that it matters in the larger scheme of things, or that I'm trying to "claim" him for the SGL tribe. It has more to do with learning where the passion and expression of his art comes from particularly around the real sensual way in which he draws and portrays Black men in his portrait paintings. Very, very sadly, he transitioned from us in 1997, the same year I came into my "self-acceptance" around my homosexuality. So when I learned of and discovered his work a few short years later, he was already gone from me in a sense. No way to go to an art exhibition to see more of his work or to meet him personally and asks questions.

"2 Black 2 Strong"



In any case, I really felt the need to pay tribute and promote attention to brutha Marvin Vines and his work because there is something about his work I connect to. It goes beyond just the SEXY or the STRONG Black male figures he portrays; or the social commentary in the naming of his works and and what the paintings represent themselves... it's... it's the fluidity of his style... the honesty of his style... the colors of his style... the unmistakable urban flava of style... the serenity of his style... the very soul expressed on his canvases such as the strength ("2 Black 2 Strong"), plight ("Endangered") and interests ("Jam-N") of the Black man... the (male) Nubian Knights in America. It's all that and more.

I own prints of "2 Black 2 Strong" and "Endangered" and had them professionally framed.

"In Flight"


His other works include nature stuff like geese, birth and inanimate objects like a can of Ajax! LOL! Now that's GOOD GHETTO for you! LOL! And like many other artists out there, his work was perceived to be different and therefore ostracized from the art industry.


"My First Crib"

"The Family"

"Homeland" is arguably (with myself) my favorite Marvines piece (see picture below). I'm a hardcore science-fiction fan and there is an "other-wordly" theme or element that I get from this painting. The whole metaphysical thing with the naked brutha (with a afro and bandana!!! LOL! I LOVE IT! ) standing on rocks and water by the edge of the cliff with an illuminated valley and valley path down below... the spiritual entity (Dr. Strange-esqe like the Marvel Comics character) floating up from the brutha' body...the volcanic eruption in the background suggests a star field to me... and waaaaaaaaaaaay off into the distance on the left side of the painting, if you look closely... is that a mirror image of himself standing in between the high rock formations???... this painting has a lot going on. It's PHUCKING BRILLIANT! When I get the $600 duckets, I'll buy this piece! Or unless one of y'all wanna buy it for me. I'll be grateful forever! LOL!

I'll tell you though, I wish the hell I could draw like this brutha or just draw period!


My Top Favorite Marvines Work

If you're interested in looking at more of Marvin Vines work or purchasing some of his art you can go to his official website which is managed by his brother Anthony and the Marvines estate at:

There's Also An Official Blog:
 Marvines | Soul On Canvas Blog

Lastly, as a finish to my tribute, below is a video that I've had on my computer hard drive for years and decided to upload it to YouTube and share it here on my blog with y'all. In the video one of his quotes is "I don't consider myself different than any other artist; white, Black, green, whatever. It's just the imagery that I create, part of my experience, just happens to be an imagery that either folks won't accept, don't accept, or can't accept."

Enjoy the 3 minute video and catch y'all on da rebound.

And Marvin, wherever you are in the UNIVERSE, I LOVE your work bro... peace!