Art

Most international tourists to Spain who make the detour to Bilbao—or Bilbo as it is spelt in Euskara, the Basque language—do so in order to visit the Guggenheim Museum, the Frank Gehry-designed titanium shipwreck that has loomed over the left bank of the Nervión estuary for the past twenty-one years. (More…)

It was a simple black-and-white shot of two veiled women tangled up in an intimate embrace, their lips only an inch apart. Some hailed the photo as groundbreaking for addressing issues of gender and sexuality in Islam. Others criticized it as deeply Orientalist, if not defiant of Islamic values. (More…)

At long last, a US president supports same-sex marriage.  ‘I think same-sex couples should be able to get married’ Barack Obama told ABC News on Wednesday. That same day, Queen Elizabeth declined to mention it in her address to Parliament – despite promises made by the governing coalition (who had written the Queen’s speech) about pursuing marriage equality legislation. (More…)

By now, you may have heard about the “racist art cake” incident  at an event celebrating the 75th birthday of the Swedish Artists Organization at the Moderna Museet. During the event, Swedish Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth was invited to cut the first piece of a cake designed by biracial African-Swedish artist Makode Aj Linde that was part of a five-cake installation. (More…)

There’s no need to queer Da Vinci. The homoerotic character of his work has been plain to see for over half a millennia, already. Focusing on his celebration of masculine beauty, the National Gallery’s recent Painter at the Court of Milan show made welcome, if somewhat discreet steps, in acknowledging the Italian artist’s sexuality. (More…)

Queer exhibitions are not just art shows, but platforms for furthering democracy. They not only foster visibility and equality, but foreground complex images which society conceals from itself. As contemporary art theorists Lois Keidan and Lois Weaver put it, art performs human rights. (More…)

Visitors to SFMOMA‘s rooftop sculpture garden may notice the infamous Waldo of Where’s Waldo? across the way, smiling from another building. Like the WALK sign, it is a man with a forward gait. Without the camera’s zoom, or prior cognizance, it’s barely noticeable. Isn’t that the existentialist lesson of Waldo? A man lost in a crowd, as seen by a vacant, omniscient entity? (More…)

Gun shows are easy to satirize. Arms manufacturers frequently use typically beautiful women to show off weaponry. Display booth and catalogue language is inevitably Orwellian. Every advertisement is rife with complex signifiers. Given the opportunity, a psychoanalyst would have a heart attack decoding industry messaging. (More…)