Weekend links 40

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Manchester, August, 1819: yeomanry on horseback charge a crowd of demonstrators; London, November, 2010: Mounted police charge demonstrators; London, December, 2010: “…police horses have charged the crowd once and appear to be about to do so again.”

Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable NUMBER!
Shake your chains to earth, like dew
Which in sleep had fall’n on you:
YE ARE MANY–THEY ARE FEW.

Percy Shelley, The Masque of Anarchy (1819).

• Amid the rest of the week’s tumult, discussion and activity around the censoring of David Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly film at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, continues to rumble on. I’d missed this appraisal of the exhibition at The Smart Set. Hide/Seek: Too shocking for America features an interview with Jonathan Katz, co-creator of the exhibition in the eye of the storm:

“When,” Katz asks, “will the decent majority of Americans stand against a fringe that sees censorship as a replacement for debate?” Hide/Seek sought to conquer what Katz calls “the last acceptable prejudice in American political life” – but the conservative right, rampant after last month’s midterm elections, won’t relinquish their prejudices without a fight. And so, “an exhibition explicitly intended to break a 21-year blacklist against the representation of same-sex desire,” says a dispirited Katz, “now finds itself in the same boat.”

Related: Q&A with Hide/Seek curators Jonathan Katz and David C. Ward. The Smithsonian Institution issued a fatuous statement saying they stand by the exhibition despite having forced the removal of one of its works. One of the NPG commissioners resigned in protest at the gallery’s capitulation to political pressure. Other protestors were banned from the Smithsonian after playing a video of the work on an iPad. There’s video of the iPad protest here and the protestors have their own blog. In my earlier post on the subject I noted that the actions of censorious Catholics have given Wojnarowicz’s work far more public exposure than it would otherwise receive. The LATimes has details of some of the galleries throughout the US showing the video as a result of its removal in Washington.

• Related to the above, Bruce Sargeant and His Circle: Figure and Form, a book by artist Mark Beard about the work of his “Bruce Sargeant” alter ego. Homotography has a preview.

• “We focus most strongly at the margins, on the music that others may be blind to. We don’t care whether it is electronic, metal, jazz, folk, classical, noise, world music or whatever. We are as excited by the experimental, as we are exhausted by the ephemeral. We listen. We mosh. We think. We dance. We write words. We capture images. We hope to do justice to the art which inspires us. We are The Liminal”.

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Rotary Signal Emitter, a vinyl zoetrope by audiovisual duo Sculpture.

Rest Easy Sleazy, a small mix dedicated to Peter Christopherson. Related: A Peter Christopherson tribute mix. Another mix: Mixhead was a 1997 promo CD by Portishead.

• Related to the above: What if we could touch our music again? (Hello? Some of us still play—and create—CDs and vinyl…) Is the mix tape as object-of-seduction a dead concept in a virtual world? “We traded connection for convenience,” says I Miss My Pencil. Their proposed solution, C60 Redux, is an RFID reader plus speakers, packaged in a smart 12-inch case.

• Iannis Xenakis: How an architect took music back to mathematical roots. Related: the Xenakis exhibition at MOCA, Los Angeles.

The Body Electric at Ikon, Birmingham, is the first retrospective exhibition in the UK of work by New Zealand artist Len Lye.

Hayley Campbell has a blog. This week you can read about her contribution to Jamie McCartney‘s Great Wall of Vagina.

More David Lynch: he really does love cherry pie but isn’t 100% sure how magnets work. I sympathise on both counts.

2019: A Future Imagined. Visual Futurist Syd Mead reflects on the nature of creativity and how it drives the future.

Quashed Quotatoes by Michael Wood, reviewing a new edition of Finnegans Wake.

New Weird Australia.

• Portishead’s 2008 performance for the Canal+ show Concert Privé is one of their best filmed concerts. YouTube has the whole thing.

Aubrey Beardsley’s musical afterlife

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Dilettantes by You Am I (2008). Illustration and design by Ken Taylor.

Dilettantes is the eighth studio album from Australian band You Am I which is released this week sporting a very creditable Beardsley pastiche by illustrator Ken Taylor. Sleevage has more details about the creation of the CD package, including preliminary sketches. Those familiar with Beardsley’s work may see in the cover drawing references to The Peacock Skirt and the colour print of Isolde. I like the way Beardsley’s peacock has been exchanged for a more suitably antipodean lyrebird. This isn’t Beardsley’s only influence in the musical world, of course. A few more examples follow.

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left: The Peacock Skirt from Salomé (1894); right: Isolde (1895).

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Revolver cover by Klaus Voorman (1966).

The over-familiarity of Klaus Voorman‘s collage/drawing for the cover of Revolver by The Beatles tends to obscure its Beardsley influence but that influence is certainly present in the stylised faces, the figure details and the rendering of the hair. The Beatles themselves were enthused enough with Aubrey to put his face among the pantheon of “people that we like” on the sleeve of Sgt. Pepper a year later. I’d thought for a while that Voorman might have been inspired by the landmark Beardsley exhibition which ran at the V&A in London from May–September 1966. Some correspondence with Raymond Newman, author of Abracadabra, a book about the album, disabused me of that when Raymond confirmed that Voorman in 1966 had already been a Beardsley enthusiast for a number of years.

As well as being possibly the first Beardsleyesque album cover, I wonder whether this was also the first major album release to drop the name of the artist from the front of the sleeve.

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Everyone went psychedelic in 1967, even tough mods like The Who. This Hapshash and the Coloured Coat promo poster for I Can See For Miles (incidentally my favourite Who song) is one of Hapshash’s more overt Beardsley borrowings. The sun (or moon) in the background is a variation on Beardsley’s The Woman in the Moon from Salomé (the face is Oscar Wilde’s) while Pete Townshend’s florid sorcerer’s cloak owes much to Aubrey’s incredible cover design (blocked in gold on the book) for Volpone.

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The Woman in the Moon (1894).

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Volpone (1897).

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From the sublime to the ridiculous. Cathy Berberian was the mezzo-soprano wife of avant garde composer Luciano Berio, with a long career as a singer of serious classical and contemporary classical works. Her rendition of Berio’s Thema (Omaggio a Joyce)–an electroacoustic setting of the “Sirens” prelude from Ulysses–was one of the tracks on the 1967 electroacoustic compilation Electronic Music III discussed here in April. She also had a separate career as an operatic interpreter of pop music and this collection of Beatles songs dates either from 1968 or 69, depending on which source you choose to believe. Whatever the year, the designer pulled off a decent enough copy of the Revolver sleeve. For a taste of the Berberian style, there’s a sample here. And if you’re desperate for the entire album, this page has a copy.

I’m sure this doesn’t exhaust the Beardsley influence in sleeve design, there must be others between 1968 and 2008. Once again, if you know of any further examples, please leave a comment.

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Humble Pie by Humble Pie (1970).

Update: Added Humble Pie’s self-titled third album. The illustration this time is Beardsley’s own, The Stomach Dance from Salomé.

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Dreams by Gabor Szabo (1968). Design by David Stahlberg.

Update 2: Therese discovered this great sleeve for an album by the Hungarian jazz guitarist. Closer in style to John Austen’s illustrations for Hamlet 1922) but Austen’s use of black-and-white at the time was very influenced by Beardsley’s work.

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Witchcraft by Witchcraft (2004).

Update 3: Another addition, the debut album from Swedish metal band Witchcraft which uses Beardsley’s Merlin vignette from the Morte Darthur. Thanks to Cyphane for the tip.

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Molly Moonbeam by Coach Fingers (2007).

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Ballade Of Tristram’s Last Harping by The 17th Pygmy (aka 17 Pygmies) (2007).

Update 4: Added a couple of new discoveries. The 17th Pygmy album apparently includes further Beardsley pieces in its booklet while the Coach Fingers single also has a label featuring designs by Beardsley’s contemporary, Sidney Sime.

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La Beale Isoud at Joyous Gard. (1894).

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Come Hell Or High Water by The Flowers of Hell (2009).

Update 5: Added the Flowers of Hell cover which is based on La Beale Isoud at Joyous Gard. from Le Morte Darthur. The band also has a video which works variations on the same picture.

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Procol Harum by Procol Harum (1967).

Update 6: Another one I’d missed, Procol Harum’s debut album doesn’t have a credit for the cover art which is perhaps just as well since it doesn’t stand comparison with some of the works above. The same artwork appeared on later reissues when the album was re-titled A Whiter Shade of Pale.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Look presents Nigel Waymouth
Aubrey by John Selwyn Gilbert
The New Love Poetry
The Avant Garde Project
Beardsley’s Salomé
“Weirdsley Daubery”: Beardsley and Punch
A splendid time is guaranteed for all
Alla Nazimova’s Salomé

Mark Beard’s artistic circle

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The Fencing Team by Bruce Sargeant.

Artists in the 20th century used to be multifarious in their activities, often taking their work through different stages or periods of evolution; Picasso and Max Ernst are two good examples of this. In today’s inflated art market this is no longer a wise move. As Brian Eno has noted in the case of the polymathic Tom Phillips, the pressure is there to establish yourself as a person who does one thing only, to turn yourself into a brand.

American artist Mark Beard isn’t happy with that situation. In order to satisfy a desire to create in whatever styles he chooses, he’s developed a number of distinct artist personalities, each with their own detailed biographies and even photographs (below). This isn’t entirely unprecedented, Marcel Duchamp famously had a female alter-ego named Rrose Sélavy, and was photographed by Man Ray in feminine attire, but offhand I can’t think of another artist going as far as creating six distinct personas. The painting above is one of a homoerotic sports-themed series by artist Bruce Sargeant who died, we’re told, in 1938 as a result of a wrestling accident. Examples of Beard’s other influences follow. For the complete artist biographies, see the Mark Beard pages at the Carrie Haddad gallery.

The artists

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top left: Mark Beard (b. 1956); right: Bruce Sargeant and model (1898-1938)
middle left: Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon (1849-1930); right: Brechtolt Steeruwitz (1890-1973)
bottom left: Edith Thayer Cromwell (1993-1962); right: Peter Coulter (b. 1948)

Their works

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Ideology: The Politically Correct Disdain the Frivolous by Mark Beard (1989).

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Avant la Fuite by Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon (1894).

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Swimmer Drying Himself, Berlin Olympics (1936), Young Athlete by Bruce Sargeant.

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On the Strand by Edith Thayer Cromwell.

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Das Krakenhaus by Brechtolt Steeruwitz (At the Hospital) (1923).

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Cabinet by Peter Coulter.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The gay artists archive

The gay artists archive

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Previous posts about gay or homoerotic art or artists. A personal and idiosyncratic selection, this isn’t meant to be definitive.

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Tom’s World

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Born to be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey

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The art of Antoon van Welie, 1866–1956

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The art of Paul Thévenaz, 1891–1921

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The art of Peter Knoch

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The art of Tatsuji Okawa, 1904–1994

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The art of Willem Arondeus, 1894–1943

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The art of Nicholas Tolmachev

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The art of David Haines

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A Q&A with artist Mel Odom

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Homosurrealism

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In Homage to Priapus

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Querelle de Brest

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Fast Friends

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The art of Jean Boullet, 1921–1970

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Tom of Finland redesigned

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May Wilson’s Snowflakes

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Tom of Finland postage stamps

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The art of Robert W. Richards

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The art of Sidney Hunt, 1896–1940

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Ignacio Goitia interviewed

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Andrey Avinoff revisited

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Fetish photographer Rick Castro

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Keep Your Timber Limber

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The art of Naomichi Okutsu

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The art of Konstantin Somov, 1869–1939

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The art of Seiji Inagaki

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Claudio Bravo’s packages

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Gekko Hayashi revisited

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The art of George Stavrinos, 1948–1990

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The art of Gösta Adrian-Nilsson, 1884–1965

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The art of Gregorio Prieto, 1897–1992

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The art of Guido Reni, 1575–1642

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The art of Michael Leonard

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The art of Ismael Álvarez

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Muto Manifesto, volume 7

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Cum In Your Eye by Scott La Force

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Be prepared

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The art of Xiyadie

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Jacques d’Adelswärd-Fersen revisited

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Gay octopus sex

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The art of Hyeyeol

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Richard Bruce Nugent’s Salomé

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The art of Elmgreen and Dragset

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Elie Grekoff’s Tirésias

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The art of Rob Clarke

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Japanese gay art

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The art of Mel Odom

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The Classical alibi in physique photography

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Ed Wood’s Sleaze Paperbacks

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Looking for the Wild Boys

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Seminal art and design

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The art of Ludwig von Hofmann, 1861–1945

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Muto: The Exterface Manifesto

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Carl Corley

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Phallic casts

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Lonesome Cowboys

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Jean Genet… ‘The Courtesy of Objects’

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Loving Boys by Christian Schad

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Saint Genet

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Le Baiser de Narcisse

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Philippe Jullian, connoisseur of the exotic

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The art of Marcus Behmer, 1879–1958

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Richard de Chazal’s Zodiac

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Wildeana #3

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Der Eigene: Kultur und Homosexualität

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The art of Ignacio Goitia

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Gekko Hayashi: homoerotics and monsters

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The Lady Is Dead and The Irrepressibles

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The fetish art of Taylor Buck

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The art of Ben Kimura

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The art of Dmitry Dmitriev

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Sanctuarium Artis Elisarion

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The recurrent pose #32

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Le livre blanc by Jean Cocteau

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Michelangelo’s Dream

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Sherbet and Sodomy

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The art of Yannis Tsarouchis, 1910–1989

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Ecce homo

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Joseph Cavalieri’s stained glass

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Eros: From Hesiod’s Theogony to Late Antiquity

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The end of Orpheus

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The art of Robert Sherer

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The art of Goh Mishima, 1924–1989

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The art of Benoit Prévot

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The art of Robert R Bliss, 1925–1981

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The art of Oliver Frey

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The Great God Pan

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Jerry by Paul Cadmus

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The art of Ralf Paschke

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The recurrent pose #26

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The art of Anthony Goicolea

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The art of Philip Shadbolt

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The art of Patrick Gerbier

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The art of Paul Richmond

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The art of Hideki Koh

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The art of Cody Furguson

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Colin Corbett’s decorated jockstraps

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Fizeek Art

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Let’s get physical: Bruce of Los Angeles and Tom of Finland

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Secret Lives of the Samurai

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The art of Cuauhtémoc Rodríguez

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Matthew Bourne’s Dorian Gray

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IKO stained glass

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The art of Nebojsa Zdravkovic

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The art of Jason Driskill

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William Rimmer’s Evening Swan Song

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The art of Norbert Bisky

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The art of Joan Sasgar

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Happy birthday Henry

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Phallic worship

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Saint Sebastian in NYC

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Mark Beard’s artistic circle

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Czanara: The Art & Photographs of Raymond Carrance

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The art of Scott Treleaven

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Reflections of Narcissus

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Narcissus

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Guido Reni’s Saint Sebastian

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The art of Sascha Schneider, 1870–1927

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Anthony Gayton’s Fall

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Hadrian and Greek love

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The art of Sadao Hasegawa, 1945–1999

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Cain’s son: the incarnations of Grendel

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The art of Hernan Gimenez

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AVAF at Mao Mag

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The art of Matthew Stradling

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Men with snakes

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Felix D’Eon

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Obverse Paintings by Fred Chuang

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Les Farfadais

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The art of Takato Yamamoto

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The art of NoBeast

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The art of Andrey Avinoff, 1884–1949

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The art of Jacques Sultana

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Toxicboy

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The South Bank Show: Francis Bacon

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The art of Lucio Bubacco

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The Male Gaze

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The art of ejaculation

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Philip Core and George Quaintance

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The Budweiser Ganymede

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Czanara’s Hermaphrodite Angel

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The art of Giulio Aristide Sartorio, 1860–1932

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The art of Robert Flynt

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February boy

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The art of Peter Colstee

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Images of Nijinsky

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Michael Petry’s flag

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Angels 6: Paradise stands in the shadow of swords

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Angels 3: A diversion

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Angels 1: The Angel of History and sensual metaphysics

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The art of Hubert Stowitts, 1892–1953

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The art of Bill Travis

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Jean-Frédéric Bazille’s swimmers

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The art of Paul Cadmus, 1904–1999

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The Cult of Antinous

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Army Day

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Super-objects!

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View: The Modern Magazine

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Michelangelo revisited

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The art of Thomas Eakins, 1844–1916

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The male nude in art

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Gay book covers

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Marcello Dudovich

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Evolution of an icon

More archive pages:
The archive page archive