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



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 http://bandit1a.tumblr.com


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: https://www.simeonsolomon.com

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 http://snow1960.tumblr.com

Marsden Hartley

Marsden Hartley, “Canuck Lumberjack at Old Orchard Beach, Maine”, 1940-1941, Oil on Masonite, 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.

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: https://www.orthodox-calendar.com

Gösta Adrian-Nilsson

Gösta Adrian-Nilsson, “Knockout”, 1929, Oil on Canvas, 46 x 44 cm

Gösta Adrian-Nilsson was a gay Swedish artist and writer, regarded as a pioneer of the Swedish modernist art movement. He influenced members of the Halmstad Group whose members were interested in cubism and later introduced surrealism to Sweden. Later in his life, Adrian-Nilsson was inspired by the painter Marcus Larson; and his work approached the style of the romanticism movement.


A Year: Day to Day Men: 11th of July, Solar Year 2018

State of Equilibrium

July 11, 1931 was the birthdate of actor Tab Hunter.

Tab Hunter, born Arthur Kelm in New York City, grew up in California. His fetching handsomeness and trim, athletic body eventually steered him toward the idea of acting. An introduction to talent agent Henry Wilson, specializing in “beef cake” male stars, had Tab Hunter signing a contract and receiving the stage name of Tab Hunter. With no previous experience, Hunter had his first film debut, though a minor one, in the 1950 drama “The Lawless” with only one line in the film (cut upon release of the film). He co-starred two years later in the British-made film “Island of Desire”, set in WWII on a deserted tropical island, playing opposite Linda Darnell.

Signed by Warner Brothers, Tab Hunter achieved stardom with another WWII epic, the 1955 “Battle Cry”, in which he played a boyish soldier sharing torrid scenes with Dorothy Malone, playing an older already married, love=starved Navy wife. He appeared in three more military films, keeping his fans, male and female, satisfied: “The Sea Chase” in 1955; a western army fort drama in 1956 titled “The Burning Hills”; and the 1956 “The Girl He Left Behind” opposite Natalie Wood,

The most notable success in Tab Hunter’s film career was his leading role as baseball fan JoeHhardy in the 1958 classic Faustian musical “Damn Yankees”, playing opposite Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston. Musically Tab Hunter was overshadowed; but he brought with him major star power and the film became a big hit in the theaters. He starred next in the WWI military movie “Lafayette Escadrille”, again playing a wholesome soldier. This was followed in 1959 with an adult comedy-drama “That Kind of Woman” with Sophia Loren.

Tab Hunter eventually left his Warner Brothers contract and appeared in several television series. He starred in 1961 with Debbie Reynolds in the film comedy “The Pleasure of His Company”; however after that, his film roles were in minor “beach films” and other popular light movies. They included “Operation Bikini”, “Ride the Wild Surf”, “City in the Sea” and “Birds Do It”.

In the 1980s, Tab Hunter bounced back- more mature, less wholesome, but still the handsome guy. He gamely spoofed his old clean-cut image in 1981, appearing as the romantic dangling carrot to heavyset Divine in the John Water’s delightfully tasteless “Polyester”, the first mainstream hit for Waters. Hunter went on to team up with Alan Glaser to co-produce and co-star a Waters-like western spoof “Lust in the Dust”, released in 1985.

In 2005, Tab Hunter released his memoir, “Tab Hunter Confidential”.  He had met his partner Alan Glaser in 1983, together producing two movies: “Lust in the Dust” and Hunter’s final film, the 1992 “Dark Horse”, the plot revolving around a horse ranch, a passion of Hunter’s life.  He died on July 8, 2018 at his Santa Barbara residence in California, three days shy of his eighty seventh birthday. Hunter and Glaser were together as a couple for thirty-five years.

Lasha Fox Tsertsvadze

Photography by Lasha Fox Tsertsvadze

Lasha Fox is a 26 year old photographer currently living and working in Tbilisi, Georgia. He is currently working on several documentary and conceptual projects. He has been involved in photography for the last eight years, concentrating on photography among the gay community in Georgia for the last two years.

All images reblogged with many thanks to the artist’s sites: https://lashafox.tumblr.com  and  https://www.instagram.com/lashafox


A Year: Day to Day Men: 12th of June, Solar Year 2018

Another Room Painted

June 12, 1890 was the birthdate of the Austrian painter and graphic artist, Egon Schiele.

In 1906 Egon Schiele applied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna, where Gustav Klimt had studied. Later that year he was sent to the more traditional Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In 1907 Schiele sought out Gustav Klimt, who at that time mentored younger artists. Klimt accepted him for training and introduced Schiele to the Wiener Werkstatte, the arts and crafts workshop associated with the Vienna Sucession.

Schiele’s early work from that period between 1907 and 1909 shows a strong influence by Klimt and the Art Nouveau style. In 1909, free of the constraints of the Academy’s conventions, he  began to explore not only the human form, but also human sexuality. Schiele’s work was already daring, but it went a bold step further with the inclusion of Klimt’s decorative eroticism and with what some may like to call figurative distortions, that included elongations, deformities, and sexual openness. Schiele’s self-portraits helped re-establish the energy of both genres with their unique level of emotional and sexual honesty and use of figural distortion in place of conventional ideals of beauty.

In 1910, Schiele began experimenting with nudes. His 1910 “Kneeling Nude with Raised Hands” is considered among the most significant nude art pieces made during the 20th century. Schiele’s radical and developed approach towards the naked human form challenged both scholars and progressives alike. This unconventional piece and style went against strict academia and created a sexual uproar with its contorted lines and heavy display of figurative expression. At the time, many found the explicitness of his works disturbing.

In 1913, the Galerie Hans Goltz, Munich, mounted Schiele’s first solo show. Another solo exhibition of his work took place in Paris in 1914. During the war Schiele’s paintings became larger and more detailed, when he had the time to produce them. By 1917, he was back in Vienna, able to focus on his artistic career. His output was prolific, and his work reflected the maturity of an artist in full command of his talents.

Schiele was invited to participate in the Secession’s 49th exhibition, held in Vienna in 1918. He had fifty works accepted for this exhibition, and they were displayed in the main hall. He also designed a poster for the exhibition, which was reminiscent of the “Last Supper” with a portrait of himself in the place of Christ. The show was a triumphant success, and as a result, prices for Schiele’s drawings increased and he received many portrait commissions.

In the autumn of 1918, the Spanish flu pandemic that claimed more than 20,000,000 lives in Europe reached Vienna. Edith, his wife whom he  married in 1915 and who was six months pregnant, succumbed to the disease on October 28th. Schiele died only three days after his wife. He was 28 years old.