The Tanti Man (1996)

  1. When I lived in Boston, I was obsessed with a small summer getaway located on the north shore of Massachusetts - complete with little pizza shacks, a run-down amusement park, plenty of arcades, a roller skating rink collapsed into the ocean, and of course - the beach.

Salisbury Beach seemed to be frozen in the 60's - its decaying buildings and cracked sidewalks were populated by a colorful spectrum of weirdoes and misfits. I felt more at home in Salisbury than I did in Boston -- it was a place for those who somehow felt protected amongst the crumbling facades and faded memories.

The Tanti-Man, named after my sweet kitty, perfectly illustrates my mind-set at the time. As an outsider, I felt most comfortable in tenuous spaces like Salisbury Beach and in fleeting encounters with men who weren't quite available.

This is a summer memoir of two personal intertwined love affairs; one with Salisbury Beach and the other with a strange and charming drifter I met randomly through a friend. It is highlighted by melodramatic journal entries from my teenage years lamenting the difficulties of a homosexual life and ultimately exposing a deeply rooted internalized homophobia that kept me fumbling though uncertain places and relationships.

Work metadata

  • Year Created: 1996
  • Submitted to ArtBase: Thursday Feb 9th, 2012
  • Original Url:
  • Work Credits:
    • bobbyabate, primary creator
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Artist Statement

Featuring Chad Cooper and my dearly departed feline companion Santa who passed away on October 8th 2011 at the age of 15. Camera: Bobby Abate & Tracey McGuirl.

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