Mark I. Chester

images from Outcasts

Francesco
1/1986

I met Francesco on the set of an underground gay porn film, which was shooting at the sex club where he danced and did erotic gay male performances. He was hairy, muscular, hung and he oozed sex with every step. Yet he was totally natural, friendly and down to earth.

I was smitten with him and offered to take his photograph.  He had tattoos of snakes on his arm and he told me that he loved snakes.  So I asked my friend Carla to loan her boa Momo for the photo shoot.  (Carla and Momo are in another photograph in this show.)

From the moment the snake touched Francesco, it clearly connected with him.  Wrapping itself around him and somehow pushing right against his dick.  The snake came around him and then up on Francesco's hand held in the air and just sat with its head on top of Francesco's hand.  It was amazing.  The strobe lights were going off, I was moving around, but the snake just sat there.  I've photographed Momo before when Carla performed with it, but the snake was always moving around.  It was as if Francesco was a kind of tree and the snake just got comfortable and felt totally at home and safe despite everything else that was going on..

This photograph is from a series of images taken of Francesco getting fitted for chaps.

Francesco died from AIDS and was cremated.  Even in a cremated state, Italy did not want to let his ashes return to Italy because he had died from AIDS.