Gay Art
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185 pages

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This book is not a panegyric of homosexuality. It is a scientific study led by Professor James Smalls who teaches art story . His works examines the process of creation and allows one to comprehend the contribution of homosexuality to the evolution of emotional perception. In a time when all barriers have been overcome, this analysis offers a new understanding of our civilisation's masterpieces.



Publié par
Date de parution 09 mars 2016
Nombre de lectures 2
EAN13 9781785259340
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 7 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0598€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Author: James Smalls

Baseline Co. Ltd
61A-63A Vo Van Tan Street
4 th Floor
District 3, Ho Chi Minh City

© Confidential Concepts, worldwide, USA
© Parkstone Press International, New York, USA
© Berenice Abbott
© Ajamu Ikwe Tyekimba
© Francis Bacon Estate, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, USA/ DACS, London
© Richmond Barthé, courtesy Childs Gallery
© Mme G. Brassaï
© Romaine Brooks
© Bruce of Los Angeles
© Cahun
© Centro Elisarion
© Tee Corinne
© Jean Delville Estate, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, USA/ SABAM, Brussels
© Charles Demuth
© Marcel Duchamp Estate, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, USA/ ADAGP, Paris/ Succession Marcel Duchamp
© Rotimi Fani-Kayode/Autograph, Association of Black Photographers
© Leonor Fini Estate, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, USA/ ADAGP, Paris
© Wilhelm von Gloeden
© Nan Goldin
© Duncan Grant, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, USA/ DACS, London
© Sunil Gupta
© George Hare
© David Hockney
© Holland Day
Art © Harmony Hammond/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
© Mardsen Hartley, Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
© Elisar von Kupffer
© Tamara de Lempicka Estate, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, USA/ ADAGP, Paris
© Herbert List/ Magnum photos
© Jeanne-Mammen-Gesellschaft e.V.
© Estate Man Ray, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, USA/ ADAGP, Paris
© Copyright The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Courtesy Art + Commerce
© Pierre Molinier Estate, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, USA/ ADAGP, Paris
© Catherine Opie. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles
© Georg Pauli, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, USA/ BUS, Stockholm
© Estate of Pablo Picasso, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, USA
© Kuzma Petrov-Vodkine
© Pierre et Gilles. Courtesy Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris
© George Platt Lynes
© Wilhelm von Plüschow
Art © George and Helen Segal Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
© Smithsonian American Art Museum
© Frank Meadow Sutcliffe/ The Sutcliffe Gallery
Tom of Finland 1979 © Tom of Finland Foundation 2008
Tom of Finland 1986 © Tom of Finland Foundation 2008
© Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, USA
© Minor White
© David Wojnarowicz/P.P.O.W., New York

ISBN: 978-1-78525-934-0

All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or adapted without the permission of the copyright holder, throughout the world. Unless otherwise specified, copyright on the works reproduced lies with the respective photographers. Despite intensive research, it has not always been possible to establish copyright ownership. Where this is the case, we would appreciate notification.
James Smalls

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio , The Musicians (detail), c. 1595.
Oil on canvas, 92.1 x 118.4 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Chapter 1 - Homosexuality in Western Antiquity (from Ancient Greece to the Roman Empire)
Chapter 2 - Homosexuality in the Middle Ages
Chapter 3 - Homosexuality in the Italian Renaissance
Chapter 4 - Homosexuality in the Art of The Non-Western World (Asia and Islam)
Chapter 5 - 1700–1900: Towards a Homosexual Identity
Chapter 6 - Homosexuality in the Art of Modernism and Postmodernism (1900–2000)
List of Illustrations
01. Greek painting representing a couple, 480 BC. Museum of Paestum, Italy.


Art and homosexuality may seem like a strange combination, but both phenomena have been part of human history from the beginning of time, or at least from the beginning of recorded civilisation. Bringing together two large concepts – art and homosexuality – is nevertheless difficult and challenging. Both categories raise a host of conceptual problems and pose a series of unresolved nagging questions.
The primary question, “What is art and what purpose does it serve?”, has preoccupied humankind for centuries and has yet to find a definitive answer. There exists as many views and definitions about what art is (and is not) and its significance as there are individuals in the world. In the context of Gay Art , I am using the term “art” in a broad sense as human creation and communication within a visual field. Although the majority of the images here were produced in traditional media such as painting, sculpture, graphics, and photography, art would also include images and forms of production associated with, for example, popular culture, advertising, film, performance, conceptualism, or computer-generated imagery. Ultimately, it is up to the reader of this book to decide what to accept or reject as art.
Unlike “art,” the other term in this book’s title, “homosexuality,” can be defined more specifically. Homosexuality and its emotional aspects have existed in all cultures and in all time periods long before the invention of the term. It is and always has been one aspect of the very complex domain of human sexuality. The way homosexual love and sensibilities are visually expressed is often a reflection of the status of homosexuals themselves within their particular cultures. These images are an indication of either the degree of tolerance in those societies, or the sign of an increasingly restrictive prejudice fostered by traditions and religion.
Before 1869, the words “homosexuality” and “heterosexuality” did not exist. The former was coined and first put into use by the German-Hungarian writer and translator Karl Maria Kertbeny (1824-82). He also invented the latter term in 1880. Kertbeny’s purpose for using the word “homosexuality” was in response to an article of the Prussian penal code that criminalised sexual relations between men. Kertbeny wanted the article omitted, but was unsuccessful. The code became part of Prussian law in 1871 and was upheld and then strengthened by the Nazis in 1935, and retained by West Germany until 1969 (Haggerty, p.451). Kertbeny had his own specific views on human sexuality. Although there may never have been a coherent theory of homosexuality for him, he did divide homosexuals into specific categories: those who are “active,” “passive,” and “Platonists,” or those who love the company of their own sex without wanting to have sex with them. The designation “homosexuality,” then, started out as a term of sympathy and political activism to change a repressive law. However, over the years the word evolved into a concept that came to describe an individual’s sexual preference. The word and its evolving concept took some time to enter into European languages and thought patterns.
In the 1880s, Kertbeny’s catchy new term attracted the attention of Richard von Krafft-Ebing, a noted sexologist who used the word in his vastly popular 1886-87 Psychopathia Sexualis , a massive encyclopaedia of sexual deviance. It was through this and subsequent works by noted sexologists of the late nineteenth century that the term “homosexuality” acquired its medical and clinical connotations. Sexology refers to the study of human sexual behaviour before the codifications of modern psychology and psychoanalysis generated by the thoughts and writings of Sigmund Freud (see Gregory W. Bredbeck, “Sexology,” in Haggerty, p.794). It was not until the 1950s that “homosexuality” entered popular English and American usage, largely as a result of the Kinsey reports of 1948. Alfred Kinsey (1894-1956) was an American sex researcher whose scientific data on human sexuality challenged the prevailing notion that homosexuality was a mental illness.
As a concept, “homosexuality” encompasses a variety of conflicting ideas about gender and same-sex sexual attraction. Its broad range of possible meanings is what makes it such an irresistible, powerful, and ambiguous term nowadays. In its modern sense, “homosexuality is at once a psychological condition, an erotic desire, and a sexual practice” (David Halperin, “Homosexuality,” in Haggerty, p.452). All three senses can and are expressed in artistic or aestheticised form. Homosexuality or, to employ a term of more recent invention, the “homoerotic,” can be understood as an actual or potential element in everyone’s experience, whatever the sexual orientation of the individual. The homosexual and the homoerotic frequently overlap but are not necessarily the same. Many of the images in this book might be classified as homoerotic rather than homosexual. “Homosexual” and “homoerotic” differ only in the root meanings of the terms “sexual” and “erotic”. Whereas “sexual” encompasses the physical act of sex, “erotic” is a concept that incorporates a range of ideas and feelings around same-sex wants, needs, and desires. It does not always culminate in the sexual act. The homoerotic, unlike the h

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