Art Has Yet to Face Up to Homosexuality

Jul 4, 2011

"Art has yet to face up to homosexuality"
By Philip Kennicott
The Washington Post; July 1, 2011

"There may be a reckoning in the winds. Attitudes about gays and lesbians, and about same-sex marriage in particular, are now changing so fast that American culture is suffering from cognitive dissonance: still prone to habits of homophobia while simultaneously aware that overt bigotry is no longer acceptable in much of the public square...

"Even the arts world, often seen as a haven for diversity, is being forced to confront a long record of using cultural power to demean, control and hide the contributions of gay artists. A new book from Oxford University Press, “Art and Homosexuality: A History of Ideas,” by Christopher Reed, lays out a broad history of the relationship between art and sexuality, dating back before the “invention” of homosexual identity in the late 19th century and encompassing such a complex array of same-sex behaviors that Reed includes a chart in his introduction to map all the possibilities...

"The arts world is by no means the most homophobic institution in U.S. society. But the arts are a laboratory for cultural criticism, and they flourish when they are out in front of cultural change, not catching up to it..."

For complete article.