social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in Literature
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
Byron, George Gordon, Lord Byron, George Gordon, Lord
The bisexual Lord Byron treated many of his homosexual love affairs in his poetry, encoding them by the use of classical references or by purporting that they were affairs with women.
Modern Drama Modern Drama
Before Stonewall, censorship of the theater caused authors to encode homosexual content in publicly-presented plays.
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Selvadurai, Shyam
Sri Lankan-Canadian writer Shyam Selvadurai has emerged as a significant figure in post-colonial and gay writing by virtue of the style, wit, and perspicacity of his three novels.
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Philippine Literature
A vigorous gay and lesbian literature emerged in the Philippines in the last two decades of the twentieth century.
Queer Visual Culture
George Dureau Exhibition at Higher Pictures
Posted by: Wik Wikholm on 06/27/12
Last updated on: 06/27/12
Bookmark and Share

Detail from "Raymond Maxwell" (1986) by George Dureau. Courtesy Higher Pictures Gallery.
The Higher Pictures gallery is presenting Black, the first New York solo exhibition by photographer George Dureau (b. 1930). The exhibition consists of fifteen photographs from 1973 through 1986 whose subjects are African-American men from New Orleans. The exhibition will end on July 13, 2012.

Dureau is best known for his male figure studies and narrative paintings in oil and charcoal and for his black-and-white photographs, which often feature street youths, dwarfs, and amputees. Critic Kenneth Holditch has observed that his best work is laced with paradoxes: "the joyful and painful, the beautiful and ugly, the spiritual and sensual, and most significant of all the real in sharp juxtaposition to that which is vividly imagined."

Wilbert Hines
"Wilbert Hines" (1977) by George Dureau. Courtesy Higher Pictures.

In his glbtq encyclopedia entry on Dureau, Claude Summers writes that "Dureau's photographs have often been compared with those of Robert Mapplethorpe. But the influence runs not from Mapplethorpe to Dureau but from Dureau to Mapplethorpe. The photographers were friends in the early 1970s. Mapplethorpe was greatly moved by Dureau's photographs, even to the point of restaging many of Dureau's earlier compositions."

Dureau and Mapplethorpe--both white men--have often chosen African-American subjects for their art. Mapplethorpe's Black Book (1986) is better known than Dureau's work, but it is also quite different. The book comprises a series of brilliantly composed photographs of black men as seen through the lustful eyes of a white gay photographer. The book's images present black men as deliciously alluring objects of the homosexual male gaze and little else. African-American artist Glenn Ligon effectively characterized Mapplethorpe's work as racist in his own piece Notes on the Margin of the Black Book (1991-1993), which juxtaposes Mapplethorpe's images with comments by accomplished African-American leaders and intellectuals. Ligon's piece has the effect of turning Mapplethorpe's one-dimensional sex objects into complex, interesting people.

Raymond Maxwell
"Raymond Maxwell" (1986) by George Dureau. Courtesy Higher Pictures.

George Dureau's work is not susceptible to the same criticism. As Claude Summers has observed, Dureau's work is distinct from Mapplethorpe's chiefly because it is characterized by an empathy and kindness absent from Mapplethorpe's photographs. It is that empathy and Dureau's interest in depicting and finding beauty in amputees, dwarfs, fat men, and others who are not usually considered beautiful that makes his work such an important contribution to the gay male tradition in photography.

Visit the Higher Pictures website for more information about the exhibition's hours and location in New York City.

Related Encyclopedia Entries
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2014, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.