His first art assignments were anonymous advertising work, but by 1934 he had begun to sell freelance cover illustrations to a variety of "spicy" pulp magazines, such as Gay French Life, Ginger, Movie Humor, Movie Merry Go-Round, Snappy Detective Mysteries, Snappy Stories, Stolen Sweets, and Tempting Tales. These were sold at burlesque halls as well as under-the-counter at discreet newsstands. These illustrations, which were clearly influenced by Enoch Bolles, were often signed "Geo. Quintana."
Several of his artworks depicted men of Mexican and Indian ethnicities, which has been described as part of the "closeting" of "physique art", as it pretended physique art had anthropological or academic motives. His artworks also depicted idealized Wild West settings. His artwork has been said to establish the "macho stud" stereotype who was also homosexual.
Quaintance was born in Page County, Virginia, and grew up on a farm, displaying an aptitude for art. Even as a teen, Quaintance has been described as "obviously and actively homosexual", despite being closeted. At the age of 18 he studied at the Art Students League, where, as well as painting and drawing, he studied dance, which led to him meeting and briefly marrying Miriam Chester. In the 1930s, he became a hairstylist.
The Crusader, 1943
George Quaintance was an American artist famous for his "idealized, strongly homoerotic" depictions of men in physique magazines. In 1938, he returned home in Virginia with his companion Victor Garcia, described as Quaintance's "model, life partner, and business associate". In the early 1950s, Quaintance and Garcia moved to Rancho Siesta, which became the home of Studio Quaintance. George Quaintance died of a heart attack on November 8, 1957, leaving all his possession to Victor.
In 1938, he returned home with his companion Victor Garcia, described as Quaintance's "model, life partner, and business associate", who was the subject of many of Quaintance's photographs in the 1940s. In 1951, Quaintance's art was used for the first cover of Physique Pictorial, edited by Bob Mizer of the Athletic Model Guild. In the early 1950s, Quaintance and Garcia moved to Rancho Siesta, which became the home of Studio Quaintance, a business venture based around Quaintance's artworks. In 1953, Quaintance completed a series of three paintings about a matador, modeled by Angel Avila, another of his lovers. By 1956, the business had become so successful that Quaintance could not keep up with the demand for his works. George Quaintance died of a heart attack on November 8, 1957.
Burial: Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA, Plot: Eventide Section - Lot 2116 - Space 1
Gallery of George Quaintance's works:
1940 - 1951 (1 of 6)
1952 (2 of 6)
1953 (3 of 6)
1954-1956 (4 of 6)
1957 (5 of 6)
Afterword (6 of 6)
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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