Robert W. Richards (* 1941) is one of the most distinguished and well-known illustrators in the USA.
Richards grew up in the industrial city of Sanford, Maine. Closely affiliated with the art and music scene of downtown Sanford, he illustrated the record sleeves and advertising posters for many of the greats of show business, which later proved to be pioneering. He worked for such artists as Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Anita O’Day, Tony Curtis, and Peggy Lee. He also illustrates for the fashion industry, counting such brands as Chanel, Valentino, and Yves St. Laurent among his clients.
As a part of the bourgeois wing of the gay movement of the 70s, he developed his decade-long love for the “Adonises” of this scene – the porn stars. Richards captured the fleeting beauty of these modern gods of love in countless drawings and interviews. These works caused some stir in the Gods of Erotica exhibition at the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation in SoHo.
Richards’ drawings and photographs from all phases of his career are valuable historic documents, capturing the “golden age” of the American gay movement in the 1970s. In his photo volume Allure,Richards shows a host of highlights of his erotic illustrations of masculine ideals.
(Photo: Ron Amato)