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Gay History: The Life and Art of Keith Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990)

Gay History: The Life and Art of Keith Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990)

Keith Haring (1958-1990) was a prominent gay American artist and social activist known for his vibrant and dynamic style of art. Haring’s artwork primarily focused on issues of social justice, AIDS awareness, and LGBT rights, and his legacy continues to inspire artists and activists around the world.

Haring was born on May 4, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania. As a child, he showed a talent for art and began drawing cartoons at an early age. Haring’s interest in art continued throughout his school years, and he went on to study at the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh.

After completing his studies moved to New York City in 1978, where he quickly became immersed in the city’s vibrant art scene. He began creating street art, drawing images on empty subway advertisement spaces using white chalk. These drawings quickly gained attention, and Haring became a well-known figure in the city’s street art scene.

Haring’s art was heavily influenced by the cultural and political climate of the 1980s. He was deeply involved in the AIDS activism movement and used his art to raise awareness about the disease. His artwork often featured bold, stylized figures, many of which were interlocked in various sexual positions. These images were meant to challenge societal norms and promote greater understanding and acceptance of the LGBT community.

Haring’s art was not limited to the street; he also created numerous murals, sculptures, and paintings. In 1986, he collaborated with the artist Jenny Holzer to create a large-scale mural in New York City’s Battery Park. The mural, entitled “Spectres of the State,” was a commentary on the political tensions of the time.

Continue reading Gay History: The Life and Art of Keith Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990)
Gay History: Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954)

Gay History: – Bisexual Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo Born (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954)

Bisexual Mexican artist Frida Kahlo has become not only an international icon for the power and intensity of her art, but also for the extraordinary suffering that she endured in life.

Born in Mexico on July 6, 1907 to a German photographer and his Mexican second wife, Kahlo became a central figure in revolutionary Mexican politics and twentieth-century art.

In 1925, at the age of eighteen, Kahlo suffered appalling injuries in a streetcar accident, when she was impaled by an iron handrail smashing through her pelvis. Multiple fractures to her spine, foot, and pelvic bones meant that the rest of her life was dominated by a struggle against severe pain and disability.

Following her accident Kahlo started painting, becoming an important surrealist. Her paintings, mostly self-portraits, employ the iconography of ancient Mesoamerican cultures to depict both her physical suffering and her passion for Mexican politics and for the love of her life, Diego Rivera, whom she married in 1929.

A famous painter of heroic revolutionary murals, Rivera was much older than Kahlo and incapable of sexual fidelity. When he began an affair with her sister, Kahlo left Mexico. However, she forgave him this and other infidelities. She divorced Diego in 1940, but remarried him later the same year.

Both artists had numerous affairs. Among Kahlo’s lovers were Leon Trotsky and other men, but they also included several women. . Her friend Lucienne Bloch recalled Rivera saying, “You know that Frida is a homosexual, don’t you?” But the complexity of the artists’ marriage warns against taking this statement at face value.

However, Kahlo’s gay significance is greater than her few lesbian liaisons suggest or even her representations of women, some of which are extremely sapphic.

She was a master of cross-dressing, deliberately using male “drag” to project power and independence. A family photograph from 1926 shows her in full male attire.

Clothes were extremely important to Kahlo.  Frida used dress to make a nationalist political point, she also used it to make a statement about her own independence from feminine norms.

Frida Kahlo died on July 13, 1954, soon after turning 47. A few days before her death, she wrote in her diary:“I hope the exit is joyful — and I hope never to return — Frida”. The official cause of death was given as a pulmonary embolism, although some suspected that she died from an overdose that may or may not have been accidental. An autopsy was never performed.

Diego Rivera would write that the day Kahlo died was the most tragic day of his life, adding that, too late, he had realized that the most wonderful part of his life had been his love for her

Frida has been described as: “…one of history’s grand divas…a tequila-slamming, dirty joke-telling smoker, bi-sexual that hobbled about her bohemian barrio in lavish indigenous dress and threw festive dinner parties for the likes of Leon Trotsky, poet Pablo Neruda, Nelson Rockefeller, and her on-again, off-again husband, muralist Diego Rivera.

Today, more than half a century after her death, her paintings fetch more money than any other female artist.

How to Get the Summer Look of Frida Kahlo | Vogue

You can view some of Frida Kahlo’s selected artworks by CLICKING HERE

Amazon Tells GOP Senators It Won’t Sell Books That “Frame LGBTQ+ Identity As Mental Illness”

Gay History: January 4th. – Marsden Hartley’s Cubism , Saskatchewan, and After Stonewall

gay history

January 4, 1877Marsden Hartley the American painter, poet, and essayist. is born in Lewiston, Maine.  Hartley was in Paris at the creation of the cubist movement. His friends reads like a phone book of the gay who’s Who on the time: William Sloan Kennedy, Thomas Bird Mosher, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, to name only a few. The love of his life was Karl von Freyburg a young German soldier who was sadly killed in battle in 1914. References to Freyburg were a recurring motif in Hartley’s work, most notably in Portrait of a German Officer (1914).

January 4, 1976 – In Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench rules that term “sex” in the Saskatchewan Human Rights Act does not include sexual orientation and turns down a job discrimination case brought by Doug Wilson. Wilson decides to abandon pursuit of legal redress.

January 4, 1977 – The first issue of After Stonewall: A Critical Journal of Gay Liberation is published in Winnipeg. The magazine continued into the early 1980s.

Related image

Portrait of a German Officer by Marsden Hartley

The Gay Forgotten – July 6, 1602: Martyred Flemish Sculptor Jérôme Duquesnoy

The Flemish artist Jérôme Duquesnoy was, in his day, regarded as one of the finest sculptors of the seventeenth century. In 1644, Duquesnoy was commissioned to create statues for the nave of the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in Brussels, and the following year he was appointed “architecte, statuaire et sculpteur de la Cour” to Archduke Leopold William, Regent of the Netherlands. it was during the time where he produced some of his most famous works, many of which depicted strong, muscled male figures in the Hellenic tradition.

In 1651, he became Court Architect and Sculptor, and in 1654 he went to Ghent to fulfill several commissions when he was accused of indecencies with his assistants. The Privy Council of Ghent convicted Duquesnoy of sodomy and sentenced him to death. He was bound to a stake in the Grain Market in the center of the city, strangled, and his body reduced to ashes. His reputation was destroyed and his memory repressed. It has only been recently that critical attention has returned to his work.

Source: Box Turtle Bulletin

NYC: Lower East Side Residents Have Hard Feelings Over 4 Story Penis

The New York Daily News

It’s a four-story outdoor art installation that’s hard to ignore. Residents of the Lower East Side awoke Christmas morning to find an enormous penis painted on the side of a Broome St. apartment building — courtesy of a Swedish-born artist.

“I have never heard so much laughter and seen so many happy faces behind my back when painting as for today doing this wall on Broome Street,” wrote Carolina Falkholt on Facebook after finishing the piece.

Falkholt, 40, is a well-known street artist renowned for her large-scale projects. A second Falkhalt painting on Pike St. on the Lower East Side features a far more abstract mural of a vagina. Her Instagram feed, featuring a photo of the painted phallus, has become home to a debate over its placement in a residential area.

Falkholt said the mural and another, which shows a more abstract depiction of a vagina on Pike Street, were “about not being ashamed of your body and who you are as a sexual being.”

“Talking about these subjects in public space is a must for a healthy, nonviolent community/world,” she said. “And the dialogue created around feminist public art pieces raises awareness.”

You just have to love New York…… and BIG penis’!



Petition Demands Metropolitan Museum of Art Remove Famous Painting Because It Sexualizes Young Woman


A petition has been launched demanding that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC remove a 1938 painting of a young woman with her underwear exposed due to the “current climate around sexual assault”on the website Care 2.

The piece, “Thérèse Dreaming” is  by Balthasar Klossowski de Rola, known as Balthus, a Polish-French modern artist.

“The artist of this painting, Balthus, had a noted infatuation with pubescent girls and this painting is undeniably romanticizing the sexualization of a child. Given the current climate around sexual assault … The Met is romanticizing voyeurism and the objectification of children”  wrote Mia Merrill, the former Director of Talent at Interplay Ventures and Capital “I am simply asking The Met to more carefully vet the art on its walls, and understand what this painting insinuates.”

She concludes: ‘Ultimately, it’s a small ask in consideration of how expansive their art collection is (they can easily hang up another painting), how overtly sexual the painting is, and the current news headlines highlighting a macro issue about the public health and safety of women.

 A representative for the museum said it won’t remove the painting because art is meant to reflect many time periods — not just the current one.

“[Our] mission is to collect, study, conserve, and present significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas,” said spokesman Kenneth Weine.

“Moments such as this provide an opportunity for conversation, and visual art is one of the most significant means we have for reflecting on both the past and the present.”

The petition, which was launched Friday, had has to date over 7,000 signatures.


ART NEWS: Peter Paul Rubens’ Portrait of King James’s Gay Lover Lost for 400 Years Found.


A long lost lost portrait by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens of King James’s gay lover George Villiers, the First Duke of Buckingham has been found after more than 400 years.

The portrait was rediscovered hanging in a property in Glasgow, where it had been assumed it was a copy.

However the painting, was verified to be real by antiquities expert Dr Bendor Grosvenor during BBC Four show Britain’s Lost Masterpieces.

The same-sex personal relationships of  King James are much debated, with Villiers the last in a succession of handsome young favorites the king lavished with affection and patronage. James’s nickname for Buckingham was “Steenie”, after St. Stephen who was said to have had “the face of an angel.

 Historian David M. Bergeron claims “Buckingham became James’s last and greatest lover” but his only evidence comes from flowery letters that followed 17th century styles of masculinity.

 In a letter to Buckingham in 1623, the King ends with, “God bless you, my sweet child and wife, and grant that ye may ever be a comfort to your dear father and husband”. Buckingham reciprocated the King’s affections, writing back to James: “I naturally so love your person, and adore all your other parts, which are more than ever one man had”, “I desire only to live in the world for your sake” and “I will live and die a lover of you”.

Restoration of Apethorpe Palace in 2004–8 revealed a previously unknown passage linking Villiers’ bedchamber with that of James.

Buckingham remained at the height of royal favor for the first three years of the reign of King Charles I, until a disgruntled army-officer assassinated him.


Professor Resigns from School of the Art Institute of Chicago After Social Justice Warriors Go Wild

A Chicago art professor resigned from his post earlier this month after a group of Social Justice Warrior students continually accused him of “racism”, “transphobia” and “homophobia.”

Michael Bonesteel has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as an adjunct for 14 years and is an internationally recognized expert on the 20th-century Chicago artist Henry Darger.

On Dec. 12, when Bonesteel was leading a discussion about Chicago artist Henry Darger, whose artwork often depicted young girls with male genitalia. He mentioned the popular theory that Darger’s work might be the result of childhood sexual abuse — an idea that apparently frustrated one transgender student.

“The student said there was no proof that Darger was sexually abused, and therefore, I was wrong in proposing the theory,” Bonesteel said, noting that he agreed there is no definitive proof, but pointing out that it is a common theory among art scholars.

On the advice of a diversity counselor, Mr. Bonesteel wrote an apology for his “insensitivity” and posted it to a school website, attaching a research article with background on the theory he proposed.

Two days later, the second problem cropped up in a class called “Comic Book: Golden Age to Comics Code when a student went off on a “long diatribe about perceived anti-Semitic attitudes” of Gerard Jones, the author of a book assigned to the class. The student proceeded to complain about the institute’s treatment of transgender and minority students and then accused Bonesteel specifically of “racism and homophobia.”

The student also complained about the lack of a trigger warning during a discussion about an implied rape in “Batman: The Killing Joke,” a comic book by Alan Moore.

“When I said the word ‘rape,’ the complaining student yelled, ‘Hey, where’s the trigger warning?’ 

In response to a complaint over that incident, the dean of faculty determined “it is more likely than not that your conduct in relation to this student constituted harassment based on gender-identity in violation of the School’s Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation.”

Months later, a second student from the comic book class filed a complaint against Mr. Bonesteel on the basis of having been “troubled by the incident.”

The administration later told Bonesteel that he would no longer be allowed to teach courses on comics or set the curricula for his classes on outsider art. The school also reduced his teaching hours for the next academic year to the point where he would be ineligible for benefits.

In his resignation letter, the longtime art scholar, who called the institute a “toxic environment,” wrote that he believed the entire situation to be “an abuse of Title IX protections.”

Institute spokesperson Bree Witt said that she unable to discuss personnel matters but asserted that it is “simply not the case” that the institute “infringed on academic freedom” with regard to Bonesteel, adding that such behavior would be “anathema to our pedagogy”.

Martha Stewart Photobombs Trump and Gives Him The Finger at Frieze New York Art Showing

The Frieze Art Fair has once again alighted on the fair isle of Manhattan—or Randall’s Island, to be precise—bringing with it enough international contemporary artworks to fill a passel of pashas’s palaces.

But imagine artist and Digital Marketing Associate at the Children’s Museum of the Arts Newlin Tillotson’s  surprise  when while snapping a shot of Andre Serrano’s photographs of Donald Trump and Snoop Dog,  Martha Stewart strolled into her picture photobombing  it by and  giving Trump the finger and Snoop Dog the  high sign!

Martha is Queen once again.


Martha Stewart Photobombs Trump and Gives Him The Finger at Frieze New York Art Showing

Gay History - May 8, 1920 – Iconic Gay Artist Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen) Born

WATCH: ‘Tom of Finland’ Biopic Teaser Trailer Released – (Video)


London-based sales company Protagonist and Nordic outfit Helsinki Filmi have unveiled the first teaser of Dome Karukoski’s anticipated “Tom of Finland,” a biopic about groundbreaking Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen aka. Tom of Finland.

A pioneering figure in late 20th-century gay culture, Laaksonen faced oppression and homophobia during his youth and found escapism through art. His most famous homoerotic drawings depicted stylized, over-muscled masculine bodies dressed in leather.

Over the course of four decades, Laaksonen produced some 3500 illustrations.

Laaksonen’s drawings of bikers and leathermen capitalized on the leather and denim outfits which differentiated those men from mainstream culture and suggested they were untamed, physical, and self-empowered.

“Touko Laaksonen lived in a time when the laws and norms of the society tried to deny him the right to be himself. His story is an indication how a man can change the world with only the artists’ tools as ammunition,” Karukoski has said.

“It’s impossible to overstate the impact Tom’s work has had on the image and self-image of gay men all over the world. He created the archetypes that now form an integral part of the iconography of popular culture, both gay and straight,” Aleksi Bardy, producer and partner at Helsinki-filmi, told Variety when announcing the project.

Currently in the final days of editing, “Tom of Finland” will be theatrically released in February 2017.