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Gay Bikers on Art

The current exhibition at MOCA's Pacific Design Center annex pairs the game-changing photography of Bob Mizer with his colleague and contemporary, artist Tom of Finland. The brilliant exhibition continues through Jan. 26, but the panel discussion "Bob Mizer and Tom of Finland: Making Models of Homo-Masculinity" takes place today to mark World AIDS Day, also known as Day With(out) Art -- a salient occasion considering the revolutionary impact the brave, engaging, charming and once-transgressive artwork of these two gifted men has had. Tom of Finland is a well-known figure within both the erotic and gay-culture realm and the art world generally; his lushly rendered, sensually stylized drawings of leather-bound hunks and off-script bikers are exhibited internationally. Mizer was a pioneer of physique photography, a decidedly homoerotic genre of studio portraiture and film celebrating the male body's many fine qualities in precious Hollywood style. Mizer also published the influential magazine Physique Pictorial, which included drawings by Tom of Finland way back in 1957 -- more than 20 years before Tom started spending significant time here in L.A. This timely panel is moderated by exhibition curator Bennett Simpson and features Dennis Bell, president of the Bob Mizer Foundation; Durk Dehner, president of the Tom of Finland Foundation; and artists Richard Hawkins and John Sonsini in a conversation about what has changed and what has endured. MOCA at the Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd.; Sun., Dec. 1, 3 p.m.; free. (213) 621-1745, moca.org.
Sun., Dec. 1, 3 p.m., 2013

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