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Special Features Index  

 
Spotlight African-American and African Diaspora Art
 
  Early gay and lesbian African-American and African Diaspora artists did not openly declare their homosexuality, but in the late twentieth century, many artists began to explore issues of gender and sexuality in their work.  
 
 
  James Richmond Barthe James Richmond Barthé (1901-1989) was a popular sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance. He combined traditional styles and methods with an interest in expressionism and a fascination with primitivism.  
 
 
  Nayland Blake Nayland Blake (b. 1960) creates--in a variety of media--work that reflects his preoccupation with his racial and sexual identities.  
 
 
  Beauford Delaney Beauford Delaney (1901-1979), a renowned modernist painter, suffered terribly from the pressures of being black and gay in a racist and homphobic society.  
 
 
  Rotimi Fani-Kayode Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1955-1989) was one of the most important black photographers of the late twentieth century. The Nigerian-born artist often drew on Yoruba iconography in his self-portraits and in portraits of other men.  
 
 
  Isaac Julien Isaac Julien (b. 1960) is a filmmaker, artist, and cultural critic. He is the most prominent member of a group of black artists and filmmakers involved in examining black and gay representation.  
 
 
  Mary Edmonia Lewis Mary Edmonia Lewis (1844-1907) was a sculptor born of an African-American father and an Ojibwa (Chippewa) mother. She lived most of her life in Rome where she was a member of a lesbian circle of American artists and expatriates.  
 
 
  Glenn Ligon (b. 1960) is one of the most successful artists at work today. His deeply resonant mixed-media works explore important questions of race and gender.  
 
 
  Marlon Riggs Marlon Riggs (1957-1994), a writer, director, and producer, was an accomplished and outspoken activist whose efforts to promote black gay male visibility live on through his films and essays.  
 
 
  Assotto Saint (1957-1994) was a poet, performance artist, musician, editor, and publisher whose performance pieces include Risin' to the Love We Need, New Love Song, Black Fag, and Nuclear Lovers.  
 
 
 

 
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