Forty-one years ago, way back in 1971, Australian gay rights pioneer Dennis Altman published his groundbreaking book Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation. While teaching at the University of Sydney, La Trobe, and Harvard, he has continued to publish "savvy, energetic" work, including Gore Vidal's America, AIDS in the Mind of America, and Global Sex, about which PW said: "Altman is best when he... compares Bangkok's current reputation with Vienna's as "the global brothel" circa 1900; when he traces the dissemination of U.S. gay culture around the world; or when he discusses how Reagan and Thatcher used traditional "moral panics" to promote their agendas. Drawing upon a wide range of sources and cultural artifacts including Playboy, U.N. Development Programme reports, Sharon Stone's famous leg crossing in Basic Instinct, and La Cage aux Folles, as well as the theories of Freud, Herbert Marcuse, William Reich and Franz Fanon Altman ranges outside the usual boundaries of academic research."
Born in Remscheid, Germany in 1968, photog phenom Wolfgang Tillmans made it to England as an exchange student when he was fifteen in 1983, just in time for the queerish alt rock explosion led by Depeche Mode, the Smiths, the Cure. After stints in Hamburg, and a year in New York where he met his German partner Jochen Klein, they settled in London in 1995. Two years later Klein died of aids. Three years after that, in 2000, Tillmans became the first photographer and the first non-British artist to win the UK's prestigious Turner Prize. Two years later he filmed the video for Pet Shop Boys' "Home and Dry." In 2006, he opened Between Bridges gallery space in London to promote overlooked political art. But what's his own style? All over the map. New York mag tried to nail it last year: "A Tillmans has slackerlike beauty and nonchalance; a color sense that is more like that of a monochrome painter who works in large or otherwise unbroken fields; an accidental and uncontrived appearance; an attraction to the abstract and fragmented; and a sense of the photograph as an object that (usually unframed) occupies wall space more like a sheet than like a piece of art." Taschen has a three-volume, 556-page retrospective of his work.