If you are gay, if you are lesbian, and if you are feeling as if you are swirling down the drain of assimilation, the life preserver you may need to save your sense of uniqueness may be Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer’s beautiful and enlightening book, Art & Queer Culture……….
…………..The most enlightening aspect of this wildly varied book is the presentation of images you may have seen for decades and become inured to. Images that may have lost their power over the decades, like Crawford Barton’s stunning photo of two gay men kissing on a stoop next to a presumably heterosexual couple on a bright sunny afternoon in the Castro. Many, including this writer, upon seeing that image for the first time in 1977 felt a soaring sense of elation, that a new era was dawning.
There is the insider’s mordant wit and outsider’s gaze in works like Deborah Bright’s Dream Girls,in which she inserts herself into a film still usurping George Peppard as he tries to light Audrey Hepburn’s cigarette in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The image is funny and erotic, and Bright takes the innate campiness hostage for her own mulitlayered message. Perhaps she is rescuing Truman Capote’s bisexual character from the censoring of her story in the film version of his book.