"My first impression of Fire Island was, Oh my God, a magic place exists, for real -- a place that I had dreamed about," says Bianchi, whose Polaroid photos of men frolicking at the Pines have become a poignant social document of gay life pre-AIDS. "It was a place that gave birth to my soul as an artist, because I found myself in a community of enormously creative and supportive people who were saying, 'Yeah, go for it!' in ways that our families never could understand." For those born too late to experience that world, there is now Fire Island Pines, a handsome collection of Bianchi's photos that capture the sun, sex, and camaraderie of that lost era.
Photographed at the Skyline Hotel in New York City on August 21, 2013