Frank Melleno shot these images during the Spring and Summer of 1978, then put the polaroids into a box that wasn’t opened until now. You can view the exhibit at the drkrm/gallery in Los Angeles from June 12 – 27. The press release states:
Situated in a refurbished Victorian building near a black ghetto, The Fairoaks was known for its laid-back and racially integrated ambiance. … The dark storm of drug abuse and pandemic disease that would soon overtake the community is not visible in these celebratory pictures.
…Many of the images contain nudity and frank erotic scenes, but they also capture men dressed in festive attire and engaged in other aspects of the counter-culture lifestyle the Fairoaks promoted. Many artists lived at the hotel, and ongoing therapy-support groups and monthly theme parties enhanced the Fairoaks’ reputation as a neighborhood center for gay men as much as a bathhouse.
Check out The Fairoaks Project for more info.
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