Posted on April 4, 2013 by Marco Maggetto
My generation grew up knowing that the party was just ended. HIV was marking forever the life of many. The community was losing most of its illustrious master of ceremonies and people were sad, doing anything but feeling free as before . All that ” vida loca”, all that dancing, all that fast loving suddenly ended in a tragedy largely covered by press and novels. The book “ Fire Island Pines. Polaroids 1975-1983” by Tom Bianchi goes back to the point whit a positive attitude: its a selection of snaps from the good happy days that were before panic. The history begins with Tom Bianchi buying a magazine in which is portrayed body builder Glenn Bishop,at the time, a famous gay icon. That photo was shooted in Fire Island, an exotic heaven to the eyes of young Tom. After graduating Bianchi finds job at Paramount in New York and the very first summery weekend he took the Ferry. He has nothing in mind but reaching the “paradise” where Bishop was hanging out and that place soon became second home. A place “out” of the country, an independent area, a free sex Republic where the community was living a happy parallel life. The following year Bianchi goes to a convention and receives a free Polaroid SX-70. The smart machine, at that time totally advant garde, becomes soon ones of his obsessions. He starts shooting his secret paradise, his friends, parties, the beach. Everything. At one point, he is using so much film that he become the second largest consumer in the United States preceded only by IBM.