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Tress, Arthur (Artist/Photographer) & Navarre, Yves (Contributor). FACING UP. Geneva, Switzerland: Bernard Letu Editeur, 1980. Softcover. First Edition/First Printing. 79 pages. Fine.

Landmark collection of male nudes. One of Arthur Tress' finest achievements. The true First Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, including the St. Martin's Press Facsimile Edition. Published in a very small and limited print run as a softcover original only. The First Edition is now very scarce. An austerely elegant production by Arthur Tress and Stuart M. Goldstein: Regular-sized volume format. Pictorial softcovers with white titles on the cover and spine and large flaps, as issued. Photographs by Arthur Tress. Essay by Yves Navarre in the French original and felicitous English translation. Biography and Selected Bibliography appended at the end. Printed in gravure on thick coated stock paper in Geneva, Switzerland to the highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Presents the work for which Arthur Tress will be remembered in large measure, "male erotic fantasy centering around the phallus as the source of imagery". Many of these images have become iconic (as it were). At the time of their publication, the subject matter was considered too controversial. More than thirty years later, it still is, if not more so. One of the very first male-nude art photography books issued by a Swiss and then American publisher, "Facing Up" dealt with the New York sexual underground of the pre-AIDS era. The elegantly, wittily, and sometimes sadistically explicit imagery of Arthur Tress anticipates the work of someone like Robert Mapplethorpe, indisputably the AIDS-era gay photographer. The crucial difference between the two is telling about the radical changes and subtle nuances between two successive artistic generations: Tress' Surrealist sensibility and aesthetics are about the dream world, in all its playful and unabashed eroticism (SM is about role-play after all). Mapplethorpe's "sex" pictures start with SM, but are ultimately about psychosexual drama and angst, a Theater of Cruelty complete with masks, props, drugs, and the willingness to receive or inflict physical pain in order to attain the highest level of pleasure imaginable. One of the 20th century's most important visionary erotic works, "Facing Up" vibrates with beauty and energy. A "must-have" title for Arthur Tress collectors. This title is a modern photography classic. This is one of very few copies of the Bernard Letu Editeur true First Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Many copies available online have serious flaws. Please note: This true First Edition was issued as a Softcover Original only; there is no hardcover edition of it. The latter was re-issued (very recently, in 2004) with a print as a Limited Edition, and commands up to $1000. Thsi is a lovely and accessible alternative. A very scarce copy thus. 60 plates. One of the greatest living artist/photographers. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ARTHUR TRESS TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). $80.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on December 14, 2017.