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The ARCHIVE
 

MILO's Book
All images İMilo/Pat Milo /Man-Age Press

All rights reserved. Commercial use forbidden.
ALL of the images on the pages of The ARCHIVE are copyrighted & may not be reproduced, copied, published, marketed, 
used as free pix on your web site or used in any way, shape or manner in any media without the written 
permission of the photographer or studio. The fact that the images are here is not permission. 
 

Please note:
During the time the late Jim Dolinsky had possession of The Milo negs
he became very ill with complications from AIDS. At this time a criminal gained access to the work & stole a good size number of negs & original proof sheets, including all of the work of Joe Dallesandro & Jim Manning.
We are trying to track this criminal & the client(s) he sold the stolen work to.
We ask any of you who hears of anyone (or any web site save this one) selling original Milo proof sheets or selling prints done from the original negs or anyone specifically selling Joe Dallesandro or Jim Manning prints done from original negs to contact us so we may pass the information onto the proper authorities for investigation & action. Please contact:

MAN-AGE PRESS
Thanks!
 

The ROLL CALL of Milo's Models
updated: Wednesday, May 07, 2008

JAMES PATRICK MILO
1911-1969

For a man whose profession was the public display of male nudity, Pat Milo was the most private man I’ve ever known. For ten years I was his darkroom man, friend and confidante, yet it still amazes me how little I know about his early life. What knowledge I have comes from bits and pieces of conversation with Pat and his friends.

 

James Patrick (aka Pat Milo) was born into a very large, very poor Irish Catholic family in 1911. He was forced to drop out of school early to help support them. His interest in boys led to an interest in photography, a safe” way for him to approach guys. Some of his semi-nude photos were discovered by his father and Pat was thrown out of the house with only the clothes on his back.

 

Pat drifted along the east coast working as a fry cook. It was there he met Lyle Frisby. Together they opened a street front photography studio which quickly failed. Lyle decided to move to Los Angeles after contacting Bruce Bellas (aka the photographer Bruce of Los Angeles). Pat followed Lyle to California a year later. There Lyle had opened another street front studio featuring nude male photos (which was not unheard of in the east), but L.A. was not ready for this and Lyle was arrested and sent to jail for a year.

Pat continued working as a short order cook while learning the physique photography business, greatly aided by Bruce. Milo also enrolled in some UCLA extension classes to learn more about the use of the camera and the importance of light. Shortly after Lyle was released from jail he died of leukemia. Pat fell heir to not only his negatives but to his extensive customer list as well. And so Milo of Los Angeles was born.

 

In the early 1950’s a small magazine called ,,Tomorrow’s Man” made its first appearance. It featured not only photos of models but ads for the photographers with information about ordering prints. Soon other similar digest size physique magazines began to appear. The response of his ads, along with Lyle’s customer list, allowed Pat to give up his ,,day job” and concentrate exclusively on photography.

 

It always Milo’s contention that an artist should be judged only by his work. Once, when questioned about his life and ideals, Pat shoved a photo of Larry Scott under the man’s nose and announced: ,,Here... this is who and what I am. It’s all you need to know about me!” To this day I am in full agreement. In order to know the real” Milo you need only to look at his work and the care with which he produced it. Pat kept very tight control over every aspect of his work, from the model, props and posing to the camera, lighting and the darkroom work.

 

His camera was a Rolleiflex with a lens he adapted from a Hasselblad (he found the more expensive camera too cumbersome). He always used stationary, diffused side light. This ballet style lighting he confessed stealing from Kris of Chicago (Chuck Renslow). Pat preferred to shoot indoors where he had more control over the lighting conditions. He always used high quality silk finish double-weight paper for his prints, whatever the size. But, more than anything else, Milo’s ,,look” was due to the way the image was deposited on the film.

Although he used Ansel Adams as a guide, Pat was most influenced by the work one of his teachers at UCLA, the well known MGM Studio glamour photographer George

Hurrel. The secret he learned was to use a soft fine grain portrait film, Verichrome Pan, which he underexposed and over-developed to achieve his instantly recognizable creamy, dreamy look.

 

In the post-war era models were easily found. At first Pat made trips to Vince’s Gym to find eager young Mr. Americas-to-be who were only too happy to pose in exchange for copies of the photos. Other models were referred by fellow photographers or various ,,talent scouts” and were paid from $ 5.00 in the early 50’s to $ 25.00 in the late 60’s. And many of the guys he photographed were referred by other models. Milo developed a reputation for being trustworthy, and for not having fast hands’, which afforded him the opportunity to work with several title-winning bodybuilders like Larry Scott, Bernie Ernst and Lou Degni. But it was his photos of Scott which helped secure Milo’s renown. Larry was not only his best selling model, despite the fact that no frontal nudes were ever taken, but he remained Milo’s friend up until Pat’s death. And in an era when, in order to make any money, guys moved from studio to studio (readily referred by photographers who wanted to keep their models happy), Scott was a Milo ,,exclusive”; something of a first.


But Milo was involved in another very important ,,first”. In the mid-60’s the east coast publisher DSI brought out a very fancy book of frontal male nudes all of which, cover to cover, were Pat’s work used without his permission. He was livid and quickly contacted the famous First Amendment lawyer Stanley Fleishman to bring suit against DSI. Fortunately, Fleishman convicted Pat to wait and see what happened, as DSI had already been indicted on obscenity charges regarding nudes. This became a landmark case in which these photos were found not to be obscene. Oddly enough, one of the photos in the book was one for which Lyle had been given a year in jail. Once the ,,not guilty” decision was rendered Pat moved quickly to put out a catalogue featuring full frontal male nudes (but, upon Fleishman’s advice, only those models featured in the DSI publication). No other photographer had dared to do anything so bold. But even Pat was startled by the immediate public response. There were frantic calls from his mail-drop begging Pat to come and pick up his mail; there were bags and bags of it! This rush of success finally allowed Pat to relax. He even bought a little get-away cottage in the desert which was his alone; no visitors allowed. That first catalogue was followed by two others. But at the very height of his success, in September 1969, Pat Milo died quietly in his sleep.


Pat got only a quick look at what was coming. He was astounded by the Stonewall Riots, as we all were. And he was worried about the rise of hard-core pornography which was just being hinted at as the next big thing. He observed that hard-core would be the end of the kind of work he did. This proved to be sadly true. In a very few years the era of the physique studios was over.


Though sad, perhaps it was for the best that Pat left us at the very top of his form, turning out these cool and elegant images of beautiful young men. His work was among the best we could hope to find. And though I’m sure Pat would be amused to find avid collectors now seeking out his work and calling it ,,art”, that is certainly exactly what it is.

Hugh McCurley

Los Angeles 1998

MILO's Book

NEWS
Man-Age Press is the the only authorized agent selling
prints of Pat MILO's photography.
You can contact them about purchasing prints
HERE

THE ARCHIVE has been allowed to view the boxes of Pat Milo's b&w negatives which
Man-Age Press has received from their owner.

The majority of MILO's work has never been seen by the public. The examples above of Don
Hawksley & Jackie d'Andria were scanned from the actual prints MILO sold to
customers. There were also the images in his Physique magazine & others of the time.

Looking through the work I'm just floored. The guys are all breath taking, smooth skinned, & well defined. The work was done mainly in his home & on the grounds but some was done outdoors amid rocks and trees. The majority of the models are unique to MILO, as can be said of most studios, but there are some famous models here in outstanding work. Names include
MONTE HANSEN, DON HAWKSLEY, JOHNNY NOGAR, CHEROKEE, KIP BEHAR, JOHN DAVIDSON/WAYNE ARLEN, JOHN MANNING, JOE SEARS, JERRY SULLIVAN, JOE CYR, BILLY JOE KIZER, JOE LITEL, JIM BURKE/DANNY ALBERT, JOHNNY MENENDEZ, LARRY SCOTT, JOE NAPOLI, RICK PARKER, ROBERT REX, HUGH PENDLETON  & SONNY LANDHAM
He also made use of what could be called artistic shapes be they columns, objects or shapes cut out of various materials. All give his art a very unique look. This is without question some of the most outstanding Physique photography I've ever had the joy of seeing.

The sad part is that his art & name have been for the most part ignored or forgotten. Mainly I guess because so little was seen.

Another aspect is that most includes full frontal nudes & some the rarity of full or partial erections. Wonderful erection shots of
JOE LITEL on a stool against a studio backdrop. These would never have been published at the time. That he had the guts to take them says much. The posing of the models is wonderful with great sensuality. He clearly brought out the very best of his guys.

I'd greatly love to see an exhibition of his work & a book or books that cover the scope of models rather than the Janssen book which concentrated on just a few models. When things are better sorted we'll be adding a gallery of MILO's work here so you can fully appreciate what I'm saying. As THE ARCHIVE's historian I hope to interview some who actually knew him & present you with a biography.

John Cox