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.

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.

Ramón Navarro

Ramón Navarro

Ramón Navarro, whose birth name was Jose Ramón Gil Samaniego, was a Mexican-American actor born in 1899 in Durango, Mexico. Fleeing the Mexican Revolution in 1913, Navarro and his family settled in Los Angeles, California.  Within four years, he started appearing in the films of Rex Ingram and his wife Alice Terry, while also working as a singing waiter. Navarro’s first major success was his role in the 1923 “Scaramouche”, playing the lead role of André-Louis Moreau.

Navarro’s good looks and adequate skill as an actor made him an ideal competitor for Rudolph Valentino’s dominance as a Latin lover. Three years after Valentino played the title character of “The Shiek” in 1921, Novarro played a similar role. In 1925, Novarro gave his breakthrough performance as the title character in director Fred Niblo’s “Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ”.  The film was a blockbuster hit, cementing MGM’s reputation as a quality studio and elevating Navarro into the Hollywood elite.

Valentino’s 1926 death left Novarro the title of Latin Lover Number One in Hollywood, and he enjoyed the status  into the talking film era.  He was popular as a swashbuckler in action films and one of the great romantic leads of the era. Navarro appeared with Norma Shearer in the 1927 “Student Prince in Old Heidelberg” and in the 1928 “Across to Singapore” with actress Joan Crawford.

At the peak of his success in the early 1930s, Navarro was earining more than 100,000 US dollars per film.  It was only after his studio contract with MGM Studios was not renewed in 1935 that his celebrity faded.  After that, he made sporadic appearances in film, including John Huston’s 1949 “We Were Stagers” and the 1950 film-noir crime film “Crisis” with Cary Grant.

Ramón Navarro was gay in a time when society had little understanding and no tolerance for anyone considered different. MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer asked him to take a woman as a bride, to participate in a “lavender marriage’ for publicity purposes.  Novarro refused, and maintained romantic relationships with men, including composer Harry Partch and Hollywood journalist Herbert Howe. On the night of October 30, 1968, Navarro was murdered by brothers Paul and Tom Ferguson whom he invited into his home. Believing there was a large sum of money in the house, the brothers hoped to rob him. Navarro died as a result of asphyxiation, choked to death on his own blood after having been beaten. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles.

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:

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.

Tseng Kwong Chi

Tseng Kwong Chi, “Warhol at Table”, 1985, Digital Chromogenic Print

Photographer, performance artist and New York downtown personality, Tseng Kwong Chi was born in Hong Kong in 1950 and settled in the East Village of New York in 1979. He developed an artistic persona in the late 1970’s as a kind of Chinese dignitary or “Ambiguous Ambassador,” complete with the classic Mao Tse-Tung suit, dark eyeglasses and an identity tag stamped “SlutforArt”.

Traveling around the United States and the world, Tseng Kwong Chi posited himself amid stereotypical tourist sites, from the Eiffel Tower to Niagara Falls, from the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon. He ricocheting between nature and culture to develop an extensive and now-famous series of 100 silver gelatin self-portraits, entitled the “Expeditionary Self-Portraits” or “East Meets West”. These prints possess wit and humor, as well as great formal beauty in their investigations of issues ranging from the nature of tourism, tourist photography, and cultural identity.

Tseng Kwong Chi soon met Keith Haring and other in the East Village scene who became central to his life and work. With best friends Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf and Ann Magnuson, Tseng became a much-touted documentarian and denizen of the spirited New York downtown scene. He was Keith Haring’s “official” photographer, creating an archive of over 40,000 images recording Keith Haring at work on public and gallery art, from his early subway drawings to his large scale commissions.

Tseng worked in black and white as well as in color, in both candid and formal portraits of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, Peter Halley, McDermott & McGough, Francesco Clemente, among others of the 1980’s art scene. By the time of his death in 1990, at age 39, from an AIDS infection, Tseng Kwong Chi had evolved two major bodies of work. His photography is in many collections: San Francisco Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, New School in New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, among others.

Reblogged with many 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.

Hideki Koh

Hideki Koh, Title Unknown, Date Unknown

Hideki Koh was born in Mie Prefecture, Japan in 1951. In 1998 he began drawing pictures with a special focus on boys and young men. From 2000 Koh has introduced his art through solo and group exhibitions in Tokyo, Osaka, London, Melbourne, and other cities around the world.

Through his oil paintings, drawings, and other works of art Koh expresses the freshness and liveliness of the boys and young men he depicts. He often includes in his works the lives of small animals and insects. The aesthetic world he creates provides constant fascination and charm for his growing number of fans.

In addition to his paintings and drawings, Koh is a well-known doll-maker who creates stunningly realistic dolls and accessories. Beginning with his first solo doll exhibition titled “Hitogata” in 2004, his reputation as a talented doll-maker has steadily increased both in Japan and world-wide.

In addition, the multi-talented Koh does body painting for stage actors and at art gallery events. In 2013 Koh started an art and drawing school in Tokyo. He also organizes sketching workshops around the city where he teaches and mentors young artists.

Crawford Barton


Photography by Crawford Barton

Born in 1943 and raised in fundamentalist community in rural George, Crawford Barton, a shy and introspective boy, escaped family tensions when he received a small art scholarship at the University of Georgia. After his first love for a man was unreciprocated, he returned at the end of the first semester to the family farm. Barton enrolled, at the age of twenty-one, in an Atlanta art school, making new friends and releasing his energy in the city’s gay bars and clubs.

During his time in Atlanta, Barton received a gift of a used 35mm camera and learned the basic darkroom techniques, making photography his calling in life. He moved to California in the late 1960s, settling in the San Francisco area, to pursue his photography and life as an openly gay man. By the early 1970s Barton was a leading photographer at the emergence of the gay awakening, a participant as well as a chronicler of this time.

Many of Barton’s images documenting love-ins in the park, cross-dressers in the Castro, and leather men prowling at night have become classics of the gay world. He photographed street protests, some of the first Gay Pride parades, Harvey Milk campaigning in San Francisco and celebrities such as actor Sal Mineo and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti

It was, however, Crawford Barton’s circle of friends and acquaintances that inspired his most intimate photography, Considered as a single body of work, his photographs of his lover of twenty-two years, Larry Lara, dancing in the hallway of their flat, standing in a doorway, or nude in the hills of the Golden Gate Recreation Area, show the richness and complexity of the man he loved most. 

In the early 1980s, San Francisco and the gay community were devastated by the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic, with its onslaught of illness and death. Larry Lara died from complications from AIDS and Crawford Barton later succumbed from AIDS at the age of fifty in 1993. 

In addition to his fine art photography, Barton photographed on assignment for “The Advocate”, the “Bay Area Reporter”,  “The Examiner”, “Newsday”, and the “Los Angeles Times”. The GLBT Historical Society, an archives, research center and museum in San Francisco, holds the complete personal and professional papers and studio archives of Crawford Barton. 

“I tried to serve as a chronicler, as a watcher of beautiful people — to feed back an image of a positive, likable lifestyle — to offer pleasure as well as pride.” -Crawford Barton


Orthodox Calendar

OC (Orthodox Calendar)

OC (Orthodox Calendar) is the title of wall calendars and videos first published in 2012, featuring nude and semi-nude photographs of members of the Orthodox Church. The calendar is the brainchild of a group composed mostly of Orthodox eastern Europeans of the former communist region. The primary goal was to create the very first organized global effort against homophobia in the Orthodox Region. At the same time, the calendar takes an ironic approach to the Orthodox Church itself, which in recent years has been embroiled in artist repression, questionable behavior and homophobia.

Through their unconventional and bold images, OC’s creative Team seeks to counteract the negative and outdated influences of most of the Orthodox Church leadership. While recognizing that change might not come quickly to the official Orthodox Church position, OC nonetheless believes that at least it can encourage people (believers or not) to reflect and realize that there is an urgent need for an update in values as part of the modern society.

Additional information can be found at the site: