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July 16, 2009


Cynthia Dunn

Saw it. What did you think of the Francis Bacon exhibit?


Thanks for the informative post. I just moved out of NYC. I would go to these fashion exhibits at the Met all the time--so thanks for posting some great photos. Don't the faces on the mannequins look a bit scary??


FYI: The George Michael song is actually entitled "Freedom '90."


The heterosexual dictatorship wants to control the images of gay people, make them all negative or hide them.


The Model as Muse exhibition was poorly conceived, but the sexuality of designers and photographers included is hardly the reason why. In this case it's mostly irrelevant to the topic at hand.
This exhibit is meant to be about the models, very few of whom in the show are known to be lesbian. The fact that Gia Carangi was a lesbian is significant in her tragic biography, but not so much in her actual work, which was fairly mainstream Vogue editorial stuff. And while many of the photographers included are gay, just as many of the most celebrated ones in the show, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh, Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, Gilles Bensimon and Helmut Newton are straight, or presumed to be so. Many, like Penn and William Claxton, were famously married to models featured in the exhibit.
So what's your point? That the exhibition is somehow diminished by not acknowledging that many designers and stylists are gay? Is there anything more obvious to point out? How how does that relate to the models? If there is one industry where being gay is a non-issue it's fashion. Are you interested in perpetuating the stereotype that the only thing gays are good for is fashion and aesthetics, or the myth that all gay men have some sixth sense for design (which they emphatically do not)? I'm all for righteous indignation, but it's not worth much if you don't know where to direct it.
The exhibit fails because it is shallow and poorly focused, not because it somehow omits the contributions of gays.


I haven't seen the exhibit, because I can't (I live in Europe), but there's a way to test what you claim, "costume."

Go back and look at the exhibit, and tell us if whatever BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS of the "straight" people introduced into the show include their romances and their "relationships." If they do, and the biographies of the "same-sex attracted" figures do NOT include their relationships, then everything writte above by the blogger here is true.

He doesn't tell us, but I've noted that this is what is actually done to "gay" figures by the press constantly.

Otherwise, you are absolutely correct, and the BIOGRAPHIES of these artists are, indeed, irrelevant to a show that ought to be about their art, and not about their private lives. However, journalism about the arts and various types of art criticism--including literary criticism--amount to little more than "laundry lists" about the artists' private lives. Homosexuality IS obviously not the subject of fashion design--as it is obviously not the SUBJECT of very many novels or poems--and therefore should not be featured as an important focus of critics' analyses of the art itself. Whenever homosexuality IS part of the SUBJECT, however, of an artwork (as it obviously is in the Whitman poem in the entry above) the critics DO have the right--and, probably, the OBLIGATION--to bring up the authors' interest in and involvement with that aspect of what they've fashioned.


At least there are some mainstream media stories that don't hide the lives of gay artists. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/thearts/2009492356_catchme19.html?cmpid=2628

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