Each month in this newsletter, we hope to spotlight one of our volunteers both onsite and offsite.
This month, meet Devin Baker of San Jose.
What’s your name and where are you located?
My name is Devin Baker and I live in San Jose, California with my spouse, Art Adams, and our two pups Kai and Lily.
How do you contribute to the Bob Mizer Foundation?
I’m lucky to have fairly easy access to the Foundation. I enjoy spending Saturday afternoons at the Foundation photographing 4x5 prints and negatives, sorting and archiving 35mm slides and connecting with Dennis and the other volunteers. I also contribute by providing much needed archival supplies whenever I’m able.
When not volunteering for the foundation, how do you spend your free time?
In my spare time I enjoy challenging my body with gymnastics and weightlifting. I also collect vintage beefcake photography, films and ephemera. Creatively, my spouse and I enjoy photography. We frequently hire male models and photograph them in a variety of settings. We also like to recreate classic beefcake poses.
Share three of your favorite AMG films.
I’m a huge Jim Paris and Ross Judd (Ramon Gabron) fan. They both have such natural charm and charisma. One of my favorite films is "Rambunctious Robot," mostly because Jim Paris is so darn cute. When Jim’s “robot” comes to life I laugh every time. The film is very playful and and feels completely authentic. While less of a story film, "Ramon Gabron Posing” makes me feel like I’m behind the camera at a Mizer shoot. A third title I always enjoy is "Beauty and the Beast” with John Travis and Dick Voldemar. This film has it all: a love story, a monster, muscle worship, handstands, transformations and Mizer’s unique style.
If you could share an afternoon chat with Bob back in the day, what would you like to know?
I would like to understand the evolution of Bob’s work from his own perspective. I see how his work evolved over time, from his early beefcake work in the 40’s, to the more risqué work of the 60’s and 70’s, to the overt sexual work of the 80’s and early 90’s. While I believe an evolving social acceptance of the male physique, along with a more transparent gay community, were certainly factors in this evolution, I’d like his perspective. I frequently feel that I can see elements of his early work in his later images, and sometimes vice a versa. I’d like to know if he felt he met his creative potential or was fulfilled by his work. I’m curious as to how he might feel about the attention and respect his work continues to receive nearly 25 years after his death.