Tom Bianchi Fire Island Pines 1975-1983 Polaroids & more…

books

2013. Renowned photographer Tom Bianchi captured a moment in Pines history with his celebrated book. In the mid 70’s Tom Bianchi was a young lawyer in Manhattan. He moved to New York to be closer to the Pines where he rented a house every summer for several years.  At an executive conference in Miami he was given a toy- an SX-70 Polaroid camera. After taking a few pictures of flamingos in the hotel garden. He took the camera to the Pines started making a photographic journal of the life there. In that era many with a Pines beach house and a job in New York felt the need to lie about where they had gotten their tans.  Having said “I was at the beach on Long Island” gave about 120 miles of heterosexual beach as a cover. Because many lived in the closet photographs posed a threat. They could be used against you. Your job could be lost, your life ruined. 

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1970. Fresh out of Law school, working for a large firm he was invited out to Fire Island Pines for a weekend. On a beautiful summer day he took the ferry across the Great South Bay. He arrived at the harbor and took the long boardwalk to the east end to Sail walk. His hosts house sat on stilts atop a dune with an ocean view. Naked, with the bodies out of the physique magazines of his youth the weekend would be a blur of suntan bodies, dance floors tightly packed with bare torsos, lithe bodies dancing on tables at Tea, and lantern lit dinners on a deck overlooking the sea. That weekend he fell in love…he was home. tom bi

He would lay out the instant Polaroids for everyone to see as he made them. At first he shot the subjects without identity to ensure anonymity for those who needed it, focusing on atmosphere.As time passed, friends became comfortable with the smiles on their faces being recorded. He quickly saw he had the makings of a book. People who saw what he was doing came to welcome him camera in hand.
tom8A selfie circa 1975 with my buddy Harold on the left at Fire Island. tom bianchi

GQ MARCH 1979 The New Masculinity tom bianchi


GQ March 1979

tom bianchi taking polaroids 70'stb shoot

The Photographer in action with the subject. out 100

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Tom Bianchi @ Damiani EditoreTom Bianchi - Fire Island Pines - Polaroids 1975-1983 - book pages before binding

tom bianchi signing books

                              The book comes to life. Each photo is meticulously selected…
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This book is a historical testament to the aura of Fire Island Pines. The perfect gift for someone who loves the Pines. Available at: http://amzn.to/YKv7ez

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Initially he didn’t have the courage to ask anyone to do nudes. That changed one afternoon in September of 1975. Alone on a beach shooting seashells he looked up to see a man he lusted after for years approaching. he asked what he was doing. He showed him the shell pictures. “You know what you should be shooting?” We should go back to your place and make dirty pictures.” They did, and the rest is history… 

bianchi_artworkfi hug29lookout-fire-tmagArticleFreddy and Jean Yves from Fire Island Pines Polaroids. The book was just nominated for a Lambda Literary AwardTB Splintertb15tb12tb19tb4tb14tb10artbook_2242_925172938

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Thank you Tom Bianchi for this beautiful documentation of a historic time in the Pines.
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