In celebration of pride, queerness, and self-expression, Los Angeles-based visual artist Ori Paul Levi has released a series of t-shirts inspired by vintage gay pornography. The three t-shirts represent an expression of the designer’s life and love for the city, inspired by the unique nature, layout, and colors that define it.
A photoshoot produced and shot on Polaroid by Ori took place at the historic gay staple Body Builders Gym in Silverlake, which used to operate as a bathhouse back in the 1960s.
Body Builders Gym is a tiny neighborhood establishment that has been around since the early 1980s and still feels like an 80’s gym inside; mirrors cover the walls and the tiny little locker room has an extreme sensual feeling to it. Rumor has it that back in the 1960s-1970s the location used to be a gay sauna, serving gays looking to hook up with other guys, in fact, a lot of LGBTQ+ establishments existed around the gym.
“It felt like the most natural place to bring Alex (my model) to shoot my new line of t-shirts that represents a sexual interest in men, self-expression, and individuality. It was of course important to me to maintain the western, Americana, cowboy vibes that inspires my work – so we dressed Alex up in cowboy boots and hat, and crafted this delicious photoshoot, in the locker rooms.” – Ori Paul Levi, designer.
The t-shirts are available to purchase through the designer’s website and a few select local stores.
Photo credits: Ori Paul Levi @Oriocreams
Model: Alex Jolicoeur @alxjlcr
Special Thanks: Body Builders Gym, Los Angeles, CA