A Salesman

A Salesman

Commissioned by the Eyes and Ears Foundation with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, A Salesman was one of seven billboards by Bay Area photographers installed along Market Street in San Francisco’s Castro district in 1979. A Salesman was, and remains, intentionally ambiguous about its role as an advertisement, offering the juxtaposition of a reclining male nude and a cryptic phone number in lieu of commercial content. In pose and posture, the recumbent male model directly references Burt Reynolds’ centerfold picture from the April 1973 issue of Cosmopolitan. In its initial installation, A Salesman also alluded to a series of ubiquitous advertisements produced by a San Francisco men’s clothing store. The store’s billboards featured a fashionably attired, reclining male model, shoeless and sockless, with a come hither facial expression. With its prominent placement at the intersection of Castro and Market streets, A Salesman elicited a great deal of public response, puzzlement, and media attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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