George Dureau (born in New Orleans, 1930; died in New Orleans, 2014) was a painter, sculptor, and photographer known for his focus on the male nude. His paintings command regional and national recognition, and draw on classical and baroque traditions. His photographs of nudes, street people, and people who are maimed and deformed (often figures also incorporated within his paintings and sculptures), have garnered international acclaim. Often compared to Robert Mapplethorpe’s work, Dureau’s black male nudes predate Mapplethorpe’s Black Book pictures by several years. Also classically formal, they distinguish themselves from Mapplethorpe’s work by the nature of the connection between photographer and subject.
Mapplethorpe often just disposed of his subjects after the photograph was made and hardly left room for them in his life. A reason I much prefer Dureau's work. Dureau would roam the FQ in search of people to photograph and host these huge parties in his apartment. He would also pay their bills and feed them for posing. I highly suggest buying his book and spending time with it. I was gifted the book a year or so ago after my time spent contract working at the CAC. I really learned a lot.
Joel-Peter Witkin is an American artist whose constructed photographs depict macabre often grotesque scenes. Working in the vein of the earlier photographers Henry Peach Robinson and Oscar Gustave Rejlander, Witkin carefully builds scenes with cadavers, hermaphrodites, and dwarfs which introduce literary, religious, and art historical allusions. “I have consecrated my life to changing matter into spirit with the hope of one day seeing it all. Seeing in its total form, while wearing the mask, from the distance of death,” Above all else, Witkin considers issues of morality as central to his work. Drawing from a rich body of sources—literature, myth, Renaissance and Baroque painting, and his own personal background—he creates elaborate images that address the morbid, the perverse, the erotic, and the religious. In nearly all his works, these moral issues are acted out by social outcasts, pariahs, human oddities, and even cadavers.
You can actually donate your body to him when you die but he might not ever use it. My friend that is from New Mexico said she had an opportunity to be photographed by him but he was a dick.
I'll leave it here for now!