The Male Gaze: Movement or Moment?

And Just What Exactly Is Gay Now?

(Click Image for Interactive Slideshow)

Artist Qing Liu’s art works (above) facitiously rewrite tabloid headlines and entertainment gossip to revamp the news in ways that might once have been thought of as “queering” the text.


Perhaps it’s the arrival of a new major arts movement, maybe it’s just a symptom of another consumer powered micro-trend, but it certainly seems like something is brewing in the contemporary art world.  Some are calling it a flourishing boom of gay male art.  One example of it is currently on exhibition in “The Male Gaze,” a just-opened group show at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn.  It’s an exhibition that makes it clear a new generation of artists is addressing itself candidly to the varied and mutating shapes of sexuality.

These are younger artists who have barely experienced gayness as a threatened condition.  Thus, they seem to have skipped over self-acceptance and the dramas of the closet, moving directly art expressions that are frank, exuberant, celebratory, bawdy and not infrequently marked by the spirit of juvenilia that heterosexual artists have been mining for years.

The art we’re showing,” said Nicholas Weist, curator of “The Male Gaze,” an assembly of more than 20 mostly young gay artists, “argues for a new kind of alternativism that reacts against the mainstream of the culture.”  Not so surprisingly, that includes that expanding part of the mainstream that is gay.  And just what might some the personal implications of such an expansion of mainstream of gay culture be?  In an interview published in today’s edition of The New York Times, artist Qing Liu provided his own personal observaton:

Gay culture has been more and more exposed, but what is it?” asked the artist Qing Liu, whose wall installations at “The Male Gaze” drolly rewrite tabloid headlines and entertainment gossip to alter the news in ways that might once have been thought of as “queering” the text.

I am Qing Liu — Asian and queer, poor and artist, and many other things,” Mr. Liu said.  “Everything others claim I am entitles me to a question.  And the one question I have been working constantly to raise is, What exactly is gay now?

Readers can read more of The New York Times article here: Link

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Windows to Our Souls: A Global Gallery

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Hat Tip to Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish:

“It’s noon on May 1.  When better to launch a new blog-page?  A little over a year ago, I had the idea of simply asking Dish readers to send in photographs of what they see from their own windows every day.  This blog is more of a collective effort than it might seem.  Hundreds of emails pour in each day, with tips and arguments and ideas and differing perspectives from all over the world and from every point of view.  I get to read them (or at least as many as physically possible).  You don’t, and I tried to think of a way to better convey the global reach of the Dish readership, and to remind people that the web is not that technological or abstract.  It’s actually human beings with bodies and souls and homes and gardens and windows.  I’ve been posting a window view almost every day since, but received many more than I could possibly post.  So what to do?

Some of you suggested a gallery or a coffee table book.  But Shaun Raviv, a particularly gifted colleague at the Atlantic, came up with something much more elegant.  It’s a map of the world in flash animation, with almost 700 window views embedded.  As you move your cursor over the map, you can zoom in on hundreds of places on earth, and travel the globe through the living rooms and offices and cars and bedrooms of other Dish readers.  If you sent in a window view and it was never published in the Dish, it may well be now in “The World From Your Window“.  We still have more in the hopper to add, and we’ll be adding more and more as they appear in the Dish.  So keep sending them in to  Be sure to include a place and a time of day.  (No pets or rainbows are allowed – and it should be from your window, preferably with some frame of the window in shot.)  But here’s the page as it is now.  The first time you look at it, be patient.  It takes a little while for all the pictures to load.  But soon, it should load quickly.

In my opinion, it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever produced on this blog, and I owe it to Shaun, the Atlantic, but most of all, you.  This is your blog as well as mine; and this is the world you live in.  Enjoy.”

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