Mark I. Chester

images from Outcasts

Lurch and Dana


In 1982, Mark Thompson asked me to take photographs for an article he was writing for the Advocate about the changing South of Market.  I tromped around SOMA photographing gay bars and businesses like Fe-bes, Worn Out West and tattoo artist Cliff Raven.  I photographed ruined buildings like the Falstaff Brewery, (which was right down the street from the Ambush Bar) and people I knew like Lurch and Dana and painter Snowflake in his cluttered small apartment amongst his paintings.

I also did a shoot at the South of the Slot Hotel, one of those old time bathhouses with private rooms, equipment and a nasty reputation.  Since I was a denizen of the Slot, the owner gave me permission to shoot when the bathhouse was closed.  So I went down with a friend of mine into fisting and landed him in one of the slings.  We were joined by someone I had recently met, a japanese man, slender, smooth, tight who acted the part of top.  And even though there was no penetration, the right lights at the right angle provide suggestion that is stronger than reality.