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Issues Archives: Thiry Years of HIV, Part I

March – April, 2011

From Russia with Inspiration

HOW DOES one tell the story of Sergey Pavlovich Diaghilev, the impresario whose artistic accomplishments over three decades beginning at the turn of the 20th century seem to surpass what is humanly possible? How did this homosexual Russian émigré who spent the majority of his life exiled in Europe do it?

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The Flamboyant Life and Forbidden Art of George Quaintance by Reed Massengill

Artist Aroused

FEW ARTISTS, even those of great fame or historical importance, receive such magnificent treatment in a published monograph as George Quaintance (1902-1957), painter of beefcake images from the 1940’s and 50’s, receives in this volume. Known mostly to bodybuilders and physical culture fans of those decades and to legions of gay men of the pre-Stonewall years who were starving for images of hot men, Quaintance’s paintings graced the covers of many now-classic physique magazines. …

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The Sixties Diaries: 1960–1969 by Christopher Isherwood

Too Much Information!

Katherine Bucknell, certainly has a commanding knowledge of [Christopher Isherwood’s diaries] and the details; she provides helpful footnotes and a comprehensive glossary of who’s who.

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The International Homosexual Conspiracy by Larry-bob Roberts

Quick Takes on Life’s Quirks

The International Homosexual Conspiracy is a testament to Larry-bob’s consistent growth as a writer. Always curious and never complacent, this collection may just attract that larger audience of readers who will find themselves challenged, examining their assumptions, and frequently laughing out loud.

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A Paradise of Gorgeous Lads

EVEN those who consider themselves well informed about 20th-century art have probably never heard of Bruce Sargeant (1898-1938). A sculptor, draftsman, and painter (not to mention a sometime poet), Sar-geant’s beaux arts training comes through in works that are focused almost exclusively on beautiful young men. While Sargeant’s art has long been prized by elite collectors in Europe and the U.S., it has never been featured in any major exhibition or survey. Mark Beard, an artist and distant relative of Sargeant, has devoted twenty years to collecting and studying the neglected artist’s work. The result of this effort, Bruce Sargeant and His Circle goes a long way toward rectifying this state of neglect.

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The Grown-ups Are a Little Off

THE KIDS Are All Right deals in matters of sexual ambiguity and raises some bold questions about desire and identity-questions that the movie then ignores for the most part. Let me say that I enjoyed watching these fine actors in this artfully written script. It will succeed for many in presenting a normalized portrait of two women in love who are raising a family.

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Clyde Petersen: Riffing on the Unspeakable

A TRANSGENDER musician, animator, and filmmaker working in Seattle, Clyde Petersen has released ten albums with the band Your Heart Breaks. He regularly tours with Kimya Dawson, whose childlike voice sweetens the movie Juno’s soundtrack. Despite Petersen’s gentle guitar riffs and soft-spoken lyrics, his musical influences include jarring artists from the feminist punk movement known as Riot Grrrl, which emerged out of Olympia, Washington, in the early 1990’s. He has animated and directed videos for bands like Thao Nguyen & The Get Down Stay Down and the Shaky Hands. In 2010, Petersen released a documentary film, The Unspeakable, which explores the work of fifteen Northwest artists.

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Boys in the Slammer

WHEN the opening credits conclude in the biopic I Love You Phillip Morris with the bold announcement “This Really Happened,” one can’t help but speculate that the creators of this recently released movie knew that what was about to unfold onscreen would challenge credibility. What does happen in this based-on-a-true-story tale is …

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The Politics of Focus

The challenge for photographers faced with portraying the AIDS epidemic was to produce an iconography that extended beyond a health story and to overcome the public’s habituation to graphic and shocking images. The photographs selected for this essay had to evoke the mood of the late 1980’s and early 90’s and capture the epidemic in the imagery of contemporary culture. The images reflect that time frame and are not meant to discount other periods in the epidemic.. …

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Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt by Robert Gottlieb

Bigger Than Any Gender Could Hold

The noted New Yorker editor and writer Robert Gottlieb takes a daring plunge into the complexities of [Sarah] Bernhardt’s life.

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