The 5 best artworks support Gay Movement

The topic of homosexuality was considered taboo up until recently, something that had to be hidden, something that was part of the prohibited world and like everything that happens in society, such taboo was perfectly reflected in art

Instead today men and women, just like artists, want to feel free to express their own sexuality, to reveal it, or to imply it as long as it’s a free and independent choice void of any external social conditioning. Many artists use their art to make the public aware of important topics like AIDS, which touched them directly or indirectly, others use homosexuality only as a deterrent to study forms, poses or styles. It’s quite difficult to outline a profile that associates all the below mentioned artists, even if the common thread is that of having chosen topics and subjects that have to do with homosexuality. The approaches are very different, and the styles very distant.

Egon Schiele, Two women - Le 5 migliori opere a sostegno del Movimento Gay - The 5 best artworks support gay movement Egon Schiele, Two women ( 1915 )
Schiele’s subjects are often men and women who pose nude, perhaps the reason for this type of representation transfigures his difficult relationship with the female universe. This painting in particular was created at a time when the artist was experimenting with more mature sexual relationships, it’s the moment in which he is letting go of his young lover, whom he considers not much more than a prostitute, to come close to marrying a nice bourgeois girl. During this time his portraits of women are extremely ambiguous, in fact he often doesn’t paint the eyes so as to take away personality traits, as if he didn’t worry about looking into the subject’s intimacy, now just a deep emptiness of black pupils.
Felix Gonzales Torres, Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) - Le 5 migliori opere a sostegno del Movimento Gay - The 5 best artworks support gay movement Felix Gonzales Torres, Untitled — Portrait of Ross in L.A. - ( 1991 )
As we’ve already seen in Felix Gonzales Torres’s works, the ongoing theme is the “presence of a constant absence”, a sentence that has a contradiction in its words, to be understood only when you get into the artist’s work, living it. And it’s with this artwork that the artist gives the public the opportunity to participate in its creation by eating candies and dropping the wrappings on the floor. Thus an intimate relationship is created between the viewer and the artist. The candies are Ross (the artist’s lover who died of AIDS in 1991), for the artist, every object is Ross and facing this topic in its creation is a way to exorcise his suffering and not forget it, but share it, once the candy is finished you’re left with a bitter mouth, you can feel the absence of something that was there before and that is gone now. In the beginning the pile of candies weighed 73 kilos, his lover’s weight. And day after day, candy after candy, the pile’s weight diminished, as Ross’s did in the hospital. Felix Gonzales Torres chose an absolutely elegant and nice way to face such upsetting and painful themes, even if he isn’t explicit he gives his message perfectly, in the best way possible.
Keith Haring, Safe Sex - Le 5 migliori opere a sostegno del Movimento Gay - The 5 best artworks support gay movement Keith Haring, Safe Sex ( 1988 )
On the contrary of many artists, Keith Haring, son of the sexual revolution in the ‘60s, doesn’t hide his homosexuality, instead he boasts of it and makes it explicit in his artworks through the transposition of his homo-erotic character. In this way the artist created a wave that involved the whole art world and many artists followed him by revealing their own sexual identity to the public. Keith Haring got AIDS, which killed him in 1990, since the day he discovered he was sick to the day he died he promoted an AIDS prevention campaign through his art. The artwork here is an example of this, but it’s far from him to place a fatalist vision of life in his artwork, on the contrary, “it’s an unending fight for life and against all the threats that can damage it.”
Gustav Klimt, Die Freundinnen - Le 5 migliori opere a sostegno del Movimento Gay - The 5 best artworks support gay movement Gustav Klimt, Die Freundinnenx ( 1916 )
Homosexuality in Kilmt’s paintings isn’t meant to have the public face this theme and it’s not meant to be shared as a topic as it was in the above mentioned artworks. The artist loves women in all their shapes and poses, he paints them from every angle and in every context, his studio was always invaded by female models that would wait in line to be portrayed by him. This artwork is just one of the many ways to represent women in all their aspects. Klimt faces the theme of homosexuality especially in his later drawings, which usually remain as such, not becoming finished artworks. This artwork is an example of that time, but unfortunately it was destroyed in a fire set by the German government in 1945.
Andy Warhol, Querelle - Le 5 migliori opere a sostegno del Movimento Gay - The 5 best artworks support gay movement Andy Warhol, Querelle ( 1982 )
This artwork was commissioned to Andy Warhol in 1982 by the German director Rainer Fassbinder, for a poster for his adaptation of Jean Genet’s novel Querelle. The novel talks about a sailor’s trip during which he engages in various sexual romances in a French port. To make his silk-screen print Warhol chose a polaroid that shows two young men with nude shoulders, one of them is sticking his tongue out. In its whole, the composition is a clear reference to homosexuality, a theme that also concerns the artwork that is was meant to publicize.
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