Panteón Francés de la Piedad Cuauhtemoc, Cuauhtémoc Borough, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Manuel Ben-Hur Baz Viaud (November 8, 1906 - May 11, 2003) was a Mexican painter.
Son of Emilio Germán Baz Malo and Isabel Viaud Carrasquedo, he had four brothers, including Emilio Baz Viaud, twelve years younger than him. He studied at the Academy of San Carlos from 1923 to 1926, the year in which he moved to New York where he became a commercial illustrator. He became very successful as his drawings were very accurate as well as prolific. Among his homoerotic work stands out: Wonderful Lamp of Aladdin (1926) Trompel oeil with nudes (1963) and Nude of man (1965) the latter two with reminiscences of Paul Cadmus.
Apart from being a master at pin-up illustration and glamour art, he provided illustrations for stories within major magazines such as Times or Newsweek. Ben, worked on various advertising campaigns in the U.S., and was a successful artist in creating the covers of several novels. Ben Hur became well known in the 1940s and early 1950s for his work on Esquire magazine. From 1946, he painted pin-ups for glamour Gallery magazine later contributing to calendars and monthly center pages.
Carlos Monsivaís mentions him and his brother Emilio as the hosts of the Gay Jet Set of the deécada of the 1960s in Mexico: Morley, a very wealthy American, offered an annual costume party from which no one who was Someone in the Environment was excepted. To them were added other eccentrics, members of well-known families, many of them Porfirians. So for example the brothers Ben-Hur and Emilio Baz Viaud. Ben, a designer and painter, lived for a long time in the United States where he befriended the gay elite, including Cole Porter, Christopher Isherwood, George Cukor, Clifton Webb. When someone from the select minority of gays travelled to Mexico, Ben Baz was their host, the one who offered them cocktails and conveniently matched them. His brother Emilio was a great painter barely known.
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