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Artists
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Michals, Duane
American photographer Duane Michals represents same-sex love and spirituality as compellingly as he does same-sex desire.
Michelangelo Buonarroti
The most famous artist who ever lived, Michelangelo left an enormous legacy in sculpture, painting, drawing, architecture, and poetry; while the artist's sexual behavior cannot be documented, the homoerotic character of his drawings, letters, and poetry is unmistakable.
Minton, John
The work of British painter and illustrator John Minton, a key member of the 1940s neo-Romantic movement, was greatly influenced by the artist's homosexuality.
Nevelson, Louise
Flamboyant bisexual sculptor Louise Nevelson, an American of Russian Jewish heritage, specialized in painted wooden walls and boxes that reflected cubist and pre-Columbian influences.
Ocaña, José Pérez
A fixture on the counter-cultural scene in Barcelona in the 1970s, Spanish drag performer and painter José Ángel Pérez Ocaña was the subject of a milestone film in Spanish cinema by gay director Ventura Pons.
Orphanos, Stathis (b.1940), and Sylvester, Ralph (b.1934)
Publishers Stathis Orphanos and Ralph Sylvester, partners in life as well as business, are best known for their beautifully produced limited edition books; in addition, Orphanos is acclaimed for his photographs of celebrities and male nudes.
Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola)
Although little is reliably known of the private life of sixteenth-century Italian Renaissance painter Parmigianino, his superbly refined and tortuously complex style has often appealed to a gay male audience sensitive to the extremes of taste embodied by Mannerism.
Parsons, Betty
American artist and gallery owner Betty Parsons retreated into the closet after World War II, but her support of gay, lesbian, and bisexual artists during a time of repression and her later candor are important contributions to glbtq history.
Pierre et Gilles
French artists Pierre et Gilles create stylistically unique painted photographs that capture the nuances of modern gay life in complex images that are remarkably unpretentious and accessible.
Pisis, Filippo Tibertelli De
Avant-garde Italian artist Filippo De Pisis is best known for his cityscapes, still lifes, and voluptuous male nudes.
Pittman, Lari
California artist Lari Pittman creates visually beautiful and exciting paintings that depict the anxiety attendant on being a gay male in America.
Pontormo, Jacopo
One of the most original and fascinating artists of the Italian Renaissance, Pontormo played a decisive role in helping to define Mannerism.
Porter, Fairfield
Bisexual artist Fairfield Porter is recognized as a major twentieth-century American Intimist painter.
Pries, Lionel H.
Lionel H. Pries was a noted architect and artist, now primarily remembered for his teaching career at the University of Washington, which was cut short when he was arrested in a vice sting in the late 1950s.
Quaintance, George
An influential figure in a unique American style of art, George Quaintance was a pioneer of male physique painting.
Raffalovich, Marc André
Russian-English poet and writer on sexuality, Marc André Raffalovich is best known today as a patron of the arts.
Rauschenberg, Robert
One of the most prolific and innovative artists of the late twentieth century, Robert Rauschenberg was at the core of a group of interdisciplinary artists who revolutionized American art.
Ricketts, Charles (1866-1931), and Charles Shannon (1863-1937)
Versatile British artists Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon were partners in life as well as in art; while pursuing independent careers, they also collaborated on a number of creative projects, including book design.
Rivers, Larry
One of the pioneers of Pop Art, Larry Rivers was a prolific artist, sculptor, and jazz musician; although he did not identify as a bisexual, the twice-married artist had significant same-sex sexual experience.
Roberts, Mel
In his 1960s and 1970s images of hikers, bikers, and surfers, photographer and activist Mel Roberts captured the spirit of the California Dream that lured thousands of gay men to the Golden State in search of freedom and opportunity after World War II.
Robinson, Jack
Photographer Jack Robinson came to prominence as a result of the stunning fashion and celebrity photographs he shot for magazines in the 1960s, but he also created significant images that document the gay subculture of New Orleans in the 1950s.
Sargent, John Singer
The evidence of the homosexuality of celebrated portrait artist John Singer Sargent resides largely in his work, especially his genre paintings and male nudes.
Scavullo, Francesco
Best known for his work in fashion and for his magazine covers, American photographer Francesco Scavullo was also a masterful portrait photographer.
Segal, George
Pop sculptor George Segal's "Gay Liberation" (1980) was the first piece of public art commemorating the struggle of glbtq people for equality.
Sekula, Sonja
Swiss-born artist Sonja Sekula created small-scale abstract images with profound emotional power.
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Nyad, Diana Nyad, Diana
Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
 
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Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
 
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Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
 
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American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.
 
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San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.
 
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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.
 
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