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Set and Costume Design  
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Jarman's fruitful association with Russell included a joint project, The Rake's Progress, at the Pergola Theatre during the Florence festival in 1982. Even during his career as a provocative film director in the 1970s and 1980s, Jarman continued to design for ballets, the English National Opera, and plays, including a memorable 1988 production of Waiting for Godot.

David Hockney

David Hockney (b. 1937) was lured into opera only in the 1970s when he was asked by John Cox of Glyndebourne Opera to do set designs for a new production of The Rake's Progress (1974). Hockney was particularly interested in the subject, for he identified the Rake's progress with the homosexual's plight in society, and he had given the Rake a gay slant in a series of paintings completed in 1961.

He also welcomed the assignment because he had reached an impasse in his painting and hoped that designing for the theater would free his imagination.

Hockney based his designs on the 1735 engravings by William Hogarth and playfully emphasized the graphic effects of cross hatching in red, blue, and green.

Hockney was later invited to design The Magic Flute (1977). These designs were immensely popular, and distinguished by their vivid sense of color and realistic detail that were drawn from sketches that the artist made on trips to Egypt.

Keith Haring

Keith Haring (1958-1990) had a characteristic day-glo linear style influenced by subway graffiti, but he was very much the public artist who worked in multiple media. He did installations, children's books, and large scale murals. He even body-painted gay icon Grace Jones for her 1984 appearance at Paradise Garage.

Less known is his work for the theater and ballet, especially at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He designed such productions as Secret Pastures (1984), Sweet Saturday Night (1984), Rodhessa Jones (1986), and Interrupted River (1986). He also designed for Munich's Body and Soul Ballet in 1988.

Other Theater and Ballet Designers

Other theater and ballet designers who were known in homosexual circles but who were either bisexual or never disclosed their sexuality include British artists Sir Francis Rose (1909-1976), Christopher Wood (1901-1930), and Rex Whistler (1905-1944).

Marie Laurencin (1885-1956) was also noted as a stage designer for her lyrical depictions of young girls in Les Biches (1924), commissioned by Diaghilev with music by Poulenc.

Artists not noted for being designers primarily but who nevertheless did sets and costumes include film directors James Whale (1896-1957) and Vincente Minnelli (1910-1986).

One of the most productive art directors in Hollywood, Cedric Gibbons (1893-1960), was rumored to be homosexual. He won an academy award for An American in Paris (1951).

Even Pop artist Andy Warhol (1930-1987) designed dangling silver pillows filled with helium for Merce Cunningham's Rainforest (1968).

Robert Rauschenberg (b. 1925) is another artist who designed for ballet and modern dance productions. He collaborated on several works choreographed by Paul Taylor.

Costume Designers

Costume design for stage and film has generally attracted a different kind of artist, designers often without a specific fine arts background. Nevertheless, their work has frequently reached pinnacles of stylishness and had a huge impact on the public taste and imagination.

Howard Greer

Howard Greer (1886-1964) started as a costume designer on Broadway and was one of the first to be appointed head of wardrobe at a major Hollywood studio. He worked on Greenwich Village Follies (1922) and Jack and Jill (1923) before moving to Hollywood to do set designs for Paramount Pictures. There he was responsible for such movies as Bringing Up Baby (1938).

Travis Banton

The most sought-after Hollywood costume designer of the 1930s and 1940s was Travis Banton (1894-1948). He is best remembered for creating the style of such actresses as Carole Lombard, Lilyan Tashman, Marlene Dietrich, and Mae West. His trademarks were understated elegance and luxurious fabrics.

Banton served as head designer at Paramount Studios for many years, but also designed for Fox and Universal studios as well. Perhaps his most successful creations were the angled hat and veiled look that helped establish the on-screen charisma and mystery of Dietrich in such films as Dishonored (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), and The Devil Is a Woman (1935).

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