Mel Roberts' vividly bright, playful homo erotic photography of his friends and lovers in 1960's southern California ironically have a sort of fun innocence to them, an innocence of a time before STDs and AIDS. Ironic, because at the time, they were considered anything but innocent.
In fact, sadly Roberts livelihood and life were thrown upside down when his photos were deemed pornography and false accusations that his models were under age (they were not) opened the door for a police raid on his home in 1977.
Nearly forgotten by the public since then, when the business nude photos became more and more dirty, he has lately gained some popularity and recognition with a new generation. His work is sold at Homobilia, shown at museums (The Erotic Museum had a exhibit of his work called California Boys in 2005), been compiled in a books (The Wild Ones and California Boys) and Elton John is among his many private collectors.
Personally, I love the colors and I relish in the unashamed joy captured. I am of the thinking that joy and happy colors should go hand and hand with sexuality- but I know that sentiment isn't always shared in this country.