Giles Larrain, Ralph Gibson


Edition : First / New York / Links / 1973 / Softcover. / VG+
4to, Unpaginated (52pp). Printed wraps. Numerous Colour plates. A good copy of a scarce and fragile book.

Brilliant (and now scarce) first printing of Larrain’s legendary work. Here’s what Ryan McGinley said a couple of years ago: ‘I can’t remember when I first saw the book Idols by Gilles Larrain. All I know is that ever since I got it, it’s been a huge influenceon me. Idols is one of the best photographic books I’ve ever seen. It was published in 1973 and is a collection of studio portraits of trannies, gender-benders, and just generally awesome looking people in New York City. It’s an incredible time capsule. There are Warhol people, like Taylor Mead and Holly Woodlawn, and members of the San Francisco-based psychedelic drag queen performance troupe the Cockettes. There’s a photo of the artist Al Hansen, (a.k.a. Beck’s grandfather), covered in silvery paint and dressed up like some kind of Roman soldier, and an unrecognizable, teenage Harvey Fierstein, looking like a young, pretty Jewish lady (well, almost). Most important, these people all had the best style. The greatest fashion always originates with drag queens. The outfit you’re wearing today was probably invented by a drag queen ten years ago.’ An amazing document of seventies NY, some of the plates are omitted in the modern reprinted edition.

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