Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
An artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after World War I, Surrealism embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
Congratulations to acclaimed artist Ellsworth Kelly and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner on being awarded 2012 National Medals of the Arts. President Obama will present Kelly, Kushner, and other awardees of the National of the Arts and the National Humanities Medal their awards at a reception in the White House on July 10, 2013.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities were established by the Congress in 1965 as independent agencies of the federal government. To date, the NEA and the NEH funds a variety of artistic and scholarly projects and works with diverse audiences and agencies throughout the country. The National Medals for the Arts and Humanities are chosen by a panel of distinguished scholars and artists.
The citations for Kelly and Kushner read as follows.
Ellsworth Kelly is awarded a National Medal for the Arts for his contributions as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker. A careful observer of form, color, and the natural world, Mr. Kelly has shaped more than half a century of abstraction and remains a vital influence in American art.
Tony Kushner is awarded a National Medal for the Arts for his contributions to American theater and film. Whether for the stage or the silver screen, his scripts have moved audiences worldwide, marrying humor to fury, history to fantasy, and the philosophical to the personal.
Among other recipients of the National Medal for the Arts to be honored on July 10, 2013 are the following: musician Herb Alpert; philanthropist and educator Lin Arison; dancer and choreographer Joan Myers Brown; opera diva Renée Fleming; novelist Ernest Gaines; filmmaker George Lucas; comedian Elaine May; architect Laurie Olin; and Jazz musician Allen Toussaint.
In the video below Kelly speaks with curators Stephanie Barron and Britt Salvesen about an exhibition of his work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2012.
In the following video, from December 2012, Kushner talks about the continuing relevance of theater.