Recently I was discussing John Banville's prize winning book, The Untouchables with my book group. Someone brought up the question of whether or not there is a specifically "gay" art. Just musing about the topic. My mother used to dislike being praised as a woman artist instead of just an artist. Is there a woman's art? A man's art? Hitler used the idea of separate art for separate people to condemn sick or Jewish art. So to start off, I think gay art is a dangerous concept.
But is it true? We don't see Banville's imagined painting "Death of Seneca" but we know Seneca is being bled before being put in a bathtub of warm water to die. The theme of penetration and release of fluid might well be attractive to a gay man especially the more passive partner–which Victor seems to be. But in terms of execution, the work is described as serene and "classical." In this sense it has nothing to do with a specifically homosexual art and Victor views it as an escape from his sexuality. When I think of gay artists I think rather of Caravaggio whose paintings of young boys are overtly leering and suggestive. Or of Michelangelo's often languid men like the bound slave (sculpture) where the slave swoons and hangs limply from his bonds. That is, a gay artist might well concentrate his gaze on the male body the way hetero artists do on the female--with desire. But even that isn't homosexual art anymore than the other is 'hetero-sexual art."
Causes Brenda Webster Supports
Doctors Without Borders
The Nature Conservancy
Women Support Women