Synopses & Reviews
"Male Desire entertains, stimulates, seduces, enlightens: it is the perfect art history course, slide after delicious slide, with piquant, smart commentary."
Examining the history of homoeroticism in American art, Male Desire surveys how the male body has been portrayed for the last century and a half. From the academic-style paintings of Thomas Eakins in the 19th century to Félix González-Torres's conceptual works in the "age of AIDS," this fascinating book by the well-known art historian Jonathan Weinberg highlights specific artists while illuminating the artistic and cultural contexts in which they worked.
Accompanying Weinberg's engaging text are 170 compelling images of the male physique by such artists as George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, Paul Cadmus, Andy Warhol, and Robert Mapplethorpe, works that address the theme of the homoerotic in vivid and often contentious ways. While they range widely in style and content, these artworks all share a quality of excess in the way they represent the male figure. Sexy, beautiful, edgy, and thought provoking, this important book is a must-have for every art-book collection, as well as the library of every gay man.
"Examining mediums from sculpture and painting to public health brochures, this lavishly illustrated survey looks for-and finds-a lot more homoeroticism in American art than one might expect. Weinberg's inquiry isn't merely prurient; he shows how American artists' depiction of male beauty has evolved with societal values toward gender roles. While earlier artists like George Bellows or Jared French had to frame appreciation of the male form within a larger context like sports, work, or a historical tableau, more contemporary artists like Robert Mapplethorpe openly celebrated gay identity and male nudity. Some of the most memorable images in the book include luminous black and white photographs by George Platt Lynes, wittily satiric paintings by Paul Cadmus and the sensuously beautiful paintings by Bay Area artist David Park. At times, the author attempts to find homoeroticism in places where it doesn't seem to be located, like in the conceptual work of Felix Gonzales-Torres. Nevertheless, this book is an enlightening look at homoerotic art, and a must have for anyone interested in the subject. 84 color illus, 112 b/w " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Examining the history of homoeroticism in American art, "Male Desire" surveys how the male body has been portrayed for the last century and a half. 220 illustrations, 128 in full color.
About the Author
Jonathan Weinberg, Ph.D., is a painter and art historian. He is a recipient of a 2002 Guggenheim Fellowship and is currently a fellow of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. His paintings are in many important collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Weinberg lives in Connecticut.