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In 2005, photographer Max-Arthur Mantle achieved international recognition when he shot the last cover of Blue+66, Australia’s male photo-art magazine. His photos of gorgeous men have graced the cover and pages of numerous international magazines, the popular national magazine Instinct, and now, Hotspots.

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In 2005, photographer Max-Arthur Mantle achieved international recognition when he shot the last cover of Blue+66, Australia’s male photo-art magazine. His photos of gorgeous men have graced the cover and pages of numerous international magazines, the popular national magazine Instinct, and now, Hotspots.

Mantle has also contributed work to the Bruno Gmunder Publishing book “Visions: Contemporary Male Photographer”, Studio Magazine’s Australia book “Manatomy” and “Dreamboys, Vol. 3.” In addition, his work has been featured in calendars, greeting cards, posters and in advertising campaigns.

His first book, “The Boys & the Beach,” has recently been published by Blurb. The book was shot on location in Miami Beach and features hot models from all over world who are based in Miami Beach, New York and Los Angeles.

“Max-Arthur Mantle’s men have personality,” said writer and actor David Leddick, who wrote the foreword for “Boys & the Beach.” “It’s not so much that they look into the camera, but that when you look at them you know who they are. What they are like. If they popped out of the picture you know how they would talk. Something of their sense of humor.” Hotspots caught up with the photographer to find out more about his first book, and what about Miami Beach inspires him.

beach-boys-mark-arthur-2When did you start in photography?

I studied News-Editorial (Print Journalism) and Fine Art Photography at Howard University (Washington, DC) and developed a passion for fashion and nightlife, being a former somewhat part-time club kid. After university, I was disillusioned by my pursuits to become a journalist, maybe also because I really didn’t want a real job. During my brief journalism jobs I was overwhelmed by the “bad new industry,” assigned to beats to cover fires, rapes, robbery, etc. – it became depressing. I wanted a transition into something that I truly love and could be good at as well as content and keep me young. I like boys, photography and the beach, so that became my premise.

Tell us more about your new book.

It’s my first photo book. A 5-year project (2005 to 2010), shot on location in Miami Beach, featuring 53 models from around the world represented by the industry’s top agencies – Ford, Wilhelmina, Elite, Next, Major. It has 160-pages – cover to cover the finest replicas of the male species, frolicking in the sun, sand and sea. The models are very diverse – not the typical boys you tend to see all the time. Some are new faces and some are blue chip campaign boys. Each shoot is memorable and the images are dear to me. I’ve received interest from publishers who published books of this genre, however the subject matter (full on erect penises) are not of my style and interest. I wanted to merge the feelings of what Bruce Weber does with his boys with a bit of Herb Ritts to bring my style to the forefront – subtle sensuality, timeless quality and an all-inclusive celebration of male beauty. 

What about Miami inspires you?

beach-boys-mark-arthur-3I’ve been coming to Miami Beach since the mid-’90s during the Versace heydays. I’ve see the transitions. I adore Miami Beach for many reasons. The weather, the influx of new models during season, the beaches, the of-the-moment, high-end venues and the places where the locals go. I grew up in Connecticut so New York City is still my playground; I lived there a few seasons as well. I went away to university in Washington, DC and as far as the U.S. have been up and down the East and West Coast. Miami has a special place in my heart. The people as well, the strong Latin culture I find very embracing and for the most part festive – even off season.

Tell me about what else inspires you. Music? Art? A certain type of person?

What inspires me most is the idea to conceive of a project and have the courage to have it come to fruition and see the life of it. Many of my activities are on my own effort. I’ve shot fashion stories for many magazines, but it was I who created the entire project and submitted it to the editors for consideration. I like to put it all together and see what develops. I multitask a lot and do a lot of research on various creative fields as far as fashion, modeling, hair and makeup, so when I have people involved I know exactly what I want. The type of person that inspires me is someone that owns something. It doesn’t have to be a wealthy person, but someone who is not a worker bee. Because it’s yours, like your baby, you’ve nurtured its growth and have seen the good and bad times. You are committed to working until 3 in the morning as well as going to work at 3 in the afternoon. It’s your passion.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

On Tuesday, December 21st at BAR 721 in Miami Beach, I will be having my first book launch/model party for the season. The host is Daniel E. Miagany, a featured model in the book, who has done countless gay magazine covers and a former Andrew Christian model. VIP guests include reality TV stars Glenn Douglas Packard (“Brooke Knows Best”) and Ariel Stein (“Social Miami”), fashion designer Red Carter and some of the models from the book. The photo book is exclusively available online to preview and order at Blurb.com (search by the photographer’s name or book title). Through March, I will be producing a series of photo exhibitions and fashion shows to promote the book, thereafter the activities will continue in New York City in the spring and Los Angeles in the summer.

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