Paul Cadmus

Paul Cadmus, “Nude #1” and “Nude #2”, Etchings, 1984

After traveling to Italy in the early 1930s, American artist Paul Cadmus became fascinated with Renaissance art, particularly the works of painters Luca Signorelli, known for his structure of the nude, and Andrea Mantegna, known for his strongly marked forms of design and the parallel hatching used to portray shadow.  Cadmus adopted certain Renaissance drawing techniques, especially when rendering male nudes.

Cadmus placed nudes like these in tight boxes, focusing on how the tension of the body conveys physical and emotional struggle. The lines in the background  imply a shifting momentum from left and right toward the center. Like Michelangelo, he rendered his nudes sculpturally, employing finely hatched lines to define their musculature and to create the effect of light reflecting on marble.

The Black and White Collection: WP Set Eight

The Black and White Collection: WP Set Eight

“The photograph is literally an emanation of the referent. From a real body, which was there, proceed radiations which ultimately touch me, who am here; the duration of the transmission is insignificant; the photograph of the missing being, as Sontag says, will touch me like the delayed rays of a star.”
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography 

Born in 1915, Roland Gérard Barthes was a French social critic, literary critic and essayist whose writings on semiotics, the formal study of symbols and signs pioneered by Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, helped establish structuralism and the New Criticism as leading intellectual movements. He studied at the University of Paris, receiving a degree in classical letters in 1939 and grammar and philology, the historical study of literary texts and language, in 1943.

After working from 1952 to 1959 at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Barthes was appointed to the École Pratique des Hautes Études. In 1976 he became the first chairman of literary semiology at the College de France. His first book “Le Degré zéro de l’écriture (Writing Degree Zero)” was a literary manifesto that examined the arbitrariness of the constructs of language. His following four books applied the same critical reasoning to the mythologies, or hidden assumptions, behind cultural phenomena from advertising and fashion to the Eiffel Tower and wrestling.

By the late 1970s, Barthes’s intellectual stature was virtually unchallenged, and his theories had become extremely influential not only in France but throughout Europe and in the United States. Other leading radical French thinkers who influenced or were influenced by him included the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, socio-historian Michel Foucault, and philosopher Jacques Derrida.

In 1980 Roland Barthes died at the age of 64 from injuries suffered after being struck by an automobile in Paris. Several posthumous collections of his writings have been published, including the 1982 “A Barthes Reader”, edited by his friend and admirer Susan Sontag, and the 1987 “Incidents”. The latter volume revealed Barthes’s homosexuality, which he had not publicly acknowledged. A three volume set entitled “Oeuvres Complétes (Complete Works)” was published in 1993 to 1995.

Michael Thomas Bidner

Photographer Unknown, “Michael Bidner Xeroxing His Face”, c. 1973, Archives and Special Collections, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Front Cover Image for the Catalogue “Michael Bidner: Raw”, McIntosh Gallery Publisher

Multi-media artist and photographer Michael Thomas Bidner was an Ontario artist who worked in print and mixed media, perhaps best known for his works in xerography and mail art. Born in 1944 in London, Ontario, Bidner graduated from the technical high school H.B. Beal Secondary and briefly attended the Ontario College of Art before dropping out to pursue his art independently. 

During his career, Bidner worked with various media, including silkscreening, collage, slides, photography, and video. He used the name “Cloud” in some of his projects and often incorporated the shape of an upside down “Y” as a signature symbol. In the 1970s. Bidner produced or co-created a number of alternative art-based publications: “Adz'” magazine (founder), “Rag” magazine (co-founder), and “Rude” magazine (co-founder/art director). 

In the mid-1970s, Xerox Canada Ltd. provided the McIntosh Gallery at the University of Western Ontario with one of their new color copier machines to help promote its use. In the spring of 1976, Michael Bidner and artist Michael Hayden exhibited their copy art and led a number of public workshops. Later that year, Bidner and Hayden were part of the “Color Xerography” group show at the Art Gallery of Ontario, which also included the work of Jaan Poldaas, Flavio Belli, Barbara Astman, and Robert Arn.

Bidner was also interested in philately and mail art, coining the term “artistamp” to refer to his postage art. In 1984, he organized the first international exhibition of mail art, titled “Artistampex”, in London, Ontario. Networking and letter-writing with mail artists in Canada and abroad, Bidner began compiling a groundbreaking database of artists and artwork entitled “Standard Artistamp Catalogue and Handbook”. Unfortunately, Bidner’s declining health prevented him from finishing the project. 

Following unsuccessful attempts to place his collection at a Canadian art institution, Bidner’s personal collection of original postage art was given to the Artpool Art Research Center in Budapest, Hungary in 1989. A strong supporter of gay and marginal communities, Michael Bidner passed away of AIDS in 1989.

Alireza Shojaian

Alireza Shojaian, “Hamed Sinno et un de ses Frères (Hamed Sinno and One of His Brothers)”, 2018

Alireza Shojaian is an Iranian gay artist, born in 1988 in Tehran. He studied at Islamic Azad University In the Faculty of Art and Architecture center located in Tehran, and obtained his Masters degree in Fine Arts. He now spends time living and working between his birthplace of Tehran and Beirut, Lebanon, a more tolerant country in the Middle East in terms of protection and acceptance for sexually and gender diverse people..

Shojaian’s artwork tries to highlight subjects which society tries to hide from view. His paintings often deal with the intimacy of his characters, sometimes confronting the viewer with a sense of suffering or embarrassment. Shojaian’s Pentagon and Hexagon series deals deeply with the issue of being a gay man in Iran. The two series depicts the final moments in the life of a gay friend, who was brutally murdered in his own home during the final year at the university.

For further information on the life of Alireza Shojaian and his experience within the Iranian culture as a gay artist, I suggest the following article:

Image reblogged with thanks to a great site:

Sadao Hasegawa

Graphic Work by Sadao Hasegawa

Born in the Tōkai region of Japan, Sadao Hasegawa was a Japanese graphic artist known for creating homoerotic fetish art. His first solo exhibition, “Sadao Hasegawa’s Alchemism: Meditation for 1973” was held in Tokyo, Japan, and featured collages, sculptures, and oil paintings. In 1978 Hasegawa’s art was published for the first time in “Barazoku”, a monthly magazine for gay men. Later he would be published inthe magazines “Sabu”, “Samson” and Adon”.

Sadao Hasegawa cited japanese homoerotic artist Go Mishima and artist Tom of Finland as major influences on his work. Hasegawa’s early works reflected European styles,;but after regular trips to Bali and Thailand, his work put greater focus on Asian iconography and mythology. On November 20, 1999, Hasegawa died from suicide by hanging in aBangkok, Thailand, hotel. Ownership of his work was eventually granted to Gallery Naruyama in Tokyo, which holds the majority of Hasegawa’s colledted works.

Hasegawa’s artworks are noted for their extensive detail, elaborate fantasy settings, and  for elements of Japanese, Thai, Tibetan Buddhist, African and Indian art. While Hasegawa focused primarily on depictios of muscular male physique, he oftren incorporated extreme sexual themes and subject matter into his works.

Sadao Hasegawa is regarded as one of the most influential creators of homoerotic art in Japan. Very little of his work was publihed in Japan and only one work “Sadao Hasegawa: Paintings and Drawings”, a collection of his magazine work, was published internationally by the British publisher Gay Men’s Press in 1990.



Paul Cadmus

Paul Cadmus, “Gilding the Acrobats”. 1935, Tempera and Oil on Masonite, 93 x47 cm., Metroopopitan Museum of Art, New Yourk”

Paul Cadmus is best known for his erotic depictions of nude male figures, charged with satire, social criticism, and a strongly idealized sexuality. Cadmus first gained recognition for his 1934 painting “The Fleet’s In”, where the controversy of a group of sailors he pictured carousing among prostitutes and homosexuals inspired a public outcry. Cadmus’s work is informed by themes of surrealism, compositions of the Renaissance era, the Neo-classical works of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres with their expressive distortions of form and space, and the sharp, figurative verisimilitude of Magical Realism.

However, Cadmus’s greatest influence was from fellow painter Jared French with whom he had a life-long relationship, studying and traveling extensively. French instilled within Cadmus the traditions of the old master painters such as an egg tempera technique that became an integral part of Cadmus’s process. French’s influence also furthered Cadmus’s drive to transcend these methods and define his own artistic legacy.

A renowned satirist, Cadmus was one of the most accomplished draftsmen of the twentieth century. Featuring a circus acrobat who, with help from two companions, covers his muscular body with gold radiator paint, “Gilding the Acrobats” reenacts literally the experience of painting the figure with thinly veiled homoeroticism. In an era when homosexual behavior was criminalized and homoerotic imagery was intensely policed, Gay artists like Cadmus and Richmond Barthé turned frequently to circus performers and athletes as the few socially permissible subjects that offered the opportunity to lavish attention on the male body.

Alan Turing


Photographer Unknown, Alan Turing at Bosham, 1939

This image shows mathematician and computer pioneer Alan Turing at Bosham, a coastal village and civil parish in Chichester, England.. He is seated with several figures including two Jewish refugee boys he rescued from Nazi Germany.

Alan Turing’s central contribution to science and philosophy came through his treating the subject of symbolic logic as a new branch of applied mathematics, giving it a physical and engineering content. Though a shy man, he had a pivotal role in world history through his role in Second World War cryptology.

From 1939 to 1945 Turing was almost totally engaged in the mastery of the German enciphering machine, Enigma, and other cryptological investigations at now-famous Bletchley Park, the British government’s wartime communications headquarters. Turing made a unique logical contribution to the decryption of the Enigma and became the chief scientific figure, with a particular responsibility for reading the U-boat communications.

In 1948 Alan Turing moved to Manchester University, where he partly fulfilled the expectations placed upon him to plan software for the pioneer computer development there, but still remained a free-ranging thinker. It was here that his famous 1950 paper, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” was written. In 1951 Turing was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for his 1936 achievement, yet at the same time he was striking into entirely new territory with a mathematical theory of biological morphogenesis.

This work was interrupted by Alan Turing’s arrest in February 1952 for his sexual affair with a young Manchester man, and he was obliged, to escape imprisonment, to undergo the injection of oestrogen intended to negate his sexual drive. He was disqualified from continuing secret cryptological work. Turing’s general libertarian attitude was enhanced rather than suppressed by the criminal trial, and his intellectual individuality also remained as lively as ever. While remaining formally a Reader in the Theory of Computing, he not only embarked on more ambitious applications of his biological theory, but advanced new ideas for fundamental physics.

For this reason Alan Turing’s death, on 7 June 1954, at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, came as a general surprise. In hindsight it is obvious that Turing’s unique status in Anglo-American secret communication work meant that there were pressures on him of which his contemporaries were unaware. Turing had previously spoken of suicide; and his death by cyanide poisoning was most likely by his own hand. The symbolism of his death’s dramatic element—a partly eaten apple—has continued to haunt the intellectual Eden from which Alan Turing was expelled.

In 1967, the British government took its first steps toward decriminalizing homosexuality. It was not until 2009 that the government officially apologized for its treatment of Alan Turing and thousand of other gay men who were convicted under the existing Victorian laws. In 2013, Queen Elizabeth II granted Alan Turing a royal pardon, 59 years after a housekeeper found his body at his home at Wilmslow, near Manchester, in northwest England.

Chip Whitehouse

The Artwork of Chip Whitehouse

Chip Whitehouse is a gay artist exploring in his artwork the theme of sexuality with its associated emotions. He studied Fine Art in the field of Oil Painting at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana,  and studied Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, California.


Duncan Grant

Duncan Grant, “George Mallory”, 1913, Oil on Canvas, 22 x 25 Inches, Private Collection

Born in 1885 into a military family, Scotish painter Duncan James Corrowr Grant was a member of the Bloomsbury Group, an English group of artists and scholars associated with the French Bohemian Movement.  He studied at the St. Paul’s School in London and for five years attended the Westminster School of Art. Traveling abroad after finishing school, Duncan met and became apprenticed in 1906 to French painter Jacques-Émile Blanche, a successful self-taught portrait painter working in Paris and London.

Returning to England, Duncan Grant was introduced by his cousin Lytton Strachey to the Bloomsbury Group which included the Strachey brothers, Virginia Woolf , Vanessa Bell and her husband English art critic Clive Bell, and artist and art critic Roger Fry. This Modernist art group gathered to discuss philosophical and aesthetic questions, and believed in the value of truth and friendship. Open and shifting intimate relationships developed among its members, leading to Duncan fathering a child with Vanessa Bell. Although Vanessa was greatly in love with Duncan, he, an active and well-known gay man, had many relationships with other men, particularly in the Bloomsbury group.

Duncan Grant joined the London Group in 1919, changing his painting from abstraction to landscapes and still lifes. In 1920 he had his first of many solo shows in London. In 1922 Duncan and Vanessa Bell began producing furniture, textiles, and other interior designs. Now a renowned artist, he represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale in the years 1926, 1932 and 1940. A revived interest in his work produced a retrospective exhibition in 1959 and another one-man show in 1975 in New York City.

At the age of sixty, Duncan Grant met the young Paul Roche, who became the main love of his late life. Duncan continued working on his art, mainly decorative projects and private commissions. His lover, Paul Roche, tended to his needs in his later years, until Duncan’s death by pneumonia at the age of ninety-three. He is buried beside Vanessa Bell in the churchyard of Saint Peter’s Church in West Firie, East Sussex, England.

The above painting of George Herbert Leigh Mallory, the mountaineer, is one of many portraits that Duncan Grant painted of his close friend. Mallory was a friend to many of the Bloomsbury Group, particularly with the English writer and critic Giles Lytton Strachey.

Hugh Steers


Paintings by Hugh Steers

Hugh Steers was born in Washington, D.C. in 1962, and trained in painting at Yale University and Parsons School of Art and Design. He was celebrated for his allegorical paintings that captured the emotional and political tenor of New York in the late 1980s and early 1990s, particularly the impact of Queer identity and the AIDS crisis.

Steers, who was openly gay, maintained a commitment to figurative work throughout his career, which was cut dramatically short by AIDS at the age of 32. Influenced by historical figures of American art, including Thomas Eakins, Edward Hopper, and Paul Cadmus, Steers embraced representational painting and figuration at a time when such approaches were especially unfashionable.

Steers painted in a style that mixed allegory with Expressionist realism, incorporating many art history references. His work increasingly dealt with AIDs, depicting pairs of men bathing, dressing each other, and embracing. Hugh Steers’s work is featured in the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Denver Art Museum and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. A catalogue of his work was published by Visual AIDS in 2015.

“I think I’m in the tradition of a certain kind of American artist—artists whose work embodies a certain gorgeous bleakness. Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline—they all had this austere beauty to them. They found beauty in the most brutal forms. I think that’s what characterizes America, the atmosphere, its culture, its cities and landscape. They all have that soft glow of brutality.”- Hugh Steers, 1992

Minor White

Minor White, “Tom Murphy (San Francisco)”, 1948, Gelatin Silver Print from the Series “The temptation of Saint Anthony is Mirrors”

Minor Martin White was an photographer, theoretician, critic and educator. He combined an intense interest in how people viewed and understood photographs with a personal vision that was guided by a variety of spiritual and intellectual philosophies.

Starting in Oregon in 1937 and continuing until he died in 1976, Minor White made thousands of black-and-white and color photographs of landscapes, people and abstract subject matter, created with both technical mastery and a strong visual sense of light and shadow.

Minor White taught many classes, workshops and retreats on photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology, California School of Fine Arts, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in his own home. He lived much of his life as a closeted gay man, afraid to express himself publicly for fear of loss of his teaching jobs. Some of White’s most compelling images are figure studies of men whom he taught or with whom he had relationships.

George Platt Lynes

Photography by George Platt Lynes

In the 1930’s and 40’s, George Platt Lynes was the best-known fashion and portrait photographer in the U.S. He was also producing an abundance of male nudes that he circulated among friends and occasionally published in the Swiss homosexual magazine “Der Kreis” under the pseudonyms Roberto Rolf and Robert Orville. Over time, the male nudes became his most valuable artistic endeavor.

The photographs we have come to associate with Lynes are often his highly staged studio images, which he crafted with exacting control over the smallest detail. These images display his inventive use of diffused lighting that seems to come from everywhere and yet from nowhere. Idealized and perfected, bodies and faces are wrapped in light and shadows, their contours defined with precision by the spaces around them.

Lynes began a friendship with Dr Alfred Kinsey of the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, Indiana and helped with his sex research. Between the years  1949 to 1955, Lynes sold and donated much of his erotic nudes to Kinsey. By May 1955, Lynes had been diagnosed terminally ill with lung cancer. He closed his studio and destroyed much of his print and negative archives, particularly his male nudes. It is now known that he had transferred many of these works to the Kinsey Institute. After a final trip to Europe, Lynes returned to New York City where he died on December 6, 1955.

Jean Cocteau

Jean Cocteau’s “The Blood of a Poet”, 1930

“The Blood of a Poet” is an avant-garde film directed by Jean Cocteau and which starred Enrique Riveros, a Chilean actor who had a successful career in European films. It is the first part of the Orphic Trilogy, which is continued in the 1950 “Orphee”, and followed by the 1960 “Testament of Orpheus”.

The film was financed by French nobleman Charles de Noailles who gave Cocteau one million francs to make the film. Shortly after the completion of the film, rumors began circulating that it was an anti-Christian message. Combined with the riotous reaction to another film Noailles produced, “L’Age d’Or”, the furor caused the film to be delayed for more than a year. “The Blood of a Poet” was released finally on January 20, 1932.

In this scene from the second section of the film, the artist played by Riveros is transported through the mirror to a hotel, where he peers through several keyholes, witnessing such people as an opium smoker and a hermaphrodite. The artist finally cries out that he has seen enough and returns back through the mirror.

Reblogged with thanks to


A Year: Day to Day Men: 9th of October, Solar Year 2018

Man and His Nature

October 9, 1840 was the birthdate of English painter Simeon Solomon.

Born and educated in London, Simeon Solomon, at the age of ten, received lessons in painting from his older brother Abraham Solomon, who was then a student of the Royal Academy. Simeon Solomon also became a student at the Royal Academy Schools where Dante Gabriel Rossetti introduced him to members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. Solomon’s first exhibition was at the Royal Academy in 1858 and he continued to exhibit there until 1872.

Solomon’s subjects, in addition to the literary paintings in the style of the Pre-Raphaelites, included biblical scenes from the Hebrew Bible, paintings depicting Jewish life and rituals, and paintings depicting same-sex desire. His association with radical poet Algemon Charles Swinburne led to his illustrating Swinburne’s book “Lesbia Brandon” in 1865. This novel was suppressed because it was considered pornographic in its day.

In 1873, Simeon Solomon’s career as an artist was cut short when he was arrested in a public urinal at Stratford Place Mews, off Oxford Street, in London and charged with an attempt to commit sodomy with a local workman; Solomon was fined one hundred pounds. He was arrested again in 1874 in Paris; this time he was sentenced to three months in prison. After his prosecutions, Solomon no longer exhibited his work, but achieved a degree of celebrity. Poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, poet and literary critic John Addington Symonds, macabre fiction writer Eric Stenbock, and essayist and art critic Walter Peter all collected his artwork.

Simeon Solomon was admitted in 1884 to a workhouse where he received shelter and food enabling him to continue producing his artwork. Twenty years later on August 14, 1905 he died from complications brought on by his alcoholism. Solomon was buried at the Jewish Cemetery in Willesden, London Borough of Brent.

Simeon Solomon’s work are on permanent display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Wightwick Manor, and at Leighton House in the Holland Park district of London. More information on Simeon Solomon and his artwork may be found at the Simeon Solomon Research Archive:

Simeon Solomon

Simeon Solomon,  Frontispiece to His Book ‘”A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep”’, 1871

Solomon’s “A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep” is an important early gay text, a prose poem,which was privately published in 1871. The image above is captioned “Until the day break and the shadows flee away”, a quotation from the Bible in the Song of Solomon 2:17.

The performance by Neil Bartlett, entitled “A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep”, was an one-man homage to the life and work of Pre-Raphaelite painter Simeon Solomon. The performance was originally created and performed at the height of the first wave of the British AIDs epidemic in 1987.

Paul Cadmus

Paul Cadmus, “Architect”, 1950, Tempera on Panel, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut

Paul Cadmus has participated in thirty-seven Whitney Museum Annual and Biennial exhibitions of contemporary art, making him one of the most frequently exhibited artists in the history of that ongoing curatorial project. Cadmus’s repeated, indeed almost serial, inclusion in the Whitney’s signature exhibitions of the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s marks both the centrality and the longevity of this artist’s contribution to twentieth-century art.

The “Architect” was exhibited at the 1950 Whitney Annual. The model in the painting was Charles “Chuck” Howard.

Jeremy Lucido, “Derek Wanker”

Jeremy Lucido, “Derek Wanker” Photo Shoot for Starrfucker Magazine

Jeremy Lucido is an artist, photographer and zine publisher located in downtown Los Angeles. Born in a suburb outside of Saint Louis, Missouri, Lucido was encouraged to follow his interest in art at an early age. However, it wasn’t until enrolling in a High School journalism class that he discovered his love for photography. At the age of 21, Lucido moved to Hollywood, California to attend Otis College of Art and Design and received a BFA in Photography.

Shortly after graduating college Lucido accepted a job as a video editor for an online adult production company. He quickly grew within the industry and became the lead photographer as well as director for several adult films. Lucido’s ten years in the adult industry helped shape his love for portrait work and define his raw erotic style.

Jeremy self-published Starrfucker Magazine, a black-and-white printed zine featuring his provocative photography as well as other art from contributing artists. It was a way for him to bring together the two parts of his life, art and sex,  together as one.

Images reblogged with thanks to

Marsden Hartley


, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Marsden Hartley, one of the first American artists to paint in a completely abstract mode, was part of the circle of artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove, Charles Demuth, and John Marin, who congregated around and were promoted by photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Hartley incorporated into his own paintings the abstract trends that he witnessed first-hand during his time among avant-garde artists in Europe during the 1910s.

While his early abstract style met with resistance back in the States, Hartley, undeterred, continued to paint his more recognizable subject matter with the same vivid colors, sharp contrasts, simplified forms, and ambiguous space that he mastered early in his career.

His landscape paintings, imbued with the spirit of 19th century American Transcendentalism, as well as his later portraits, which convey a love for and the earnestness of his subjects, are a uniquely American version of modernism that continue to resonate among younger contemporary artists today.

While he rarely discussed his private relationships in public, many now surmise that Hartley had several gay relationships throughout his life. At various points, he commemorated these relationships – more subtly in his early painting and more overtly in his later paintings – making Hartley an important early touchstone for gay identity in the United States.