Written By: Chiara Atoyebi
This month we are celebrating the art, joy, and creative contributions of the LGBTQ+ community represented in the art world. In the spirit of continuing education, compassion and allyship, I felt it would be great to take a look at some of the seminal works in the genre.
I have only listed four titles to get you started, and they are all amazing. The list of authors in the genre is plentiful. They all bring a unique and deeply personal and astute account of what it means to be “Queer” in our world. The works below highlight the work, craft and struggles of talented individuals who continue to carry the mantle for justice and equality in their narratives.
“Art & Queer Culture” by Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer
This comprehensive survey traverses over 125 years of queer art history. It delves into the role that art has played in the representation and expression of LGBTQ+ identities and experiences. From historical pieces to contemporary works, this book serves as a vital resource for understanding the intersection of art and queer culture. It also highlights the impact of social movements on artistic expression.
“The Queer Art of Failure” by Judith Halberstam
Judith Halberstam’s work investigates the concept of failure as a form of resistance and as an alternative to traditional understandings of success within a heteronormative culture. She explores how queerness can challenge societal norms and offers different insights into successes and failures. Through pop culture, animation, and literature, Halberstam demonstrates how embracing failure can be a subversive act, particularly for marginalized communities. The book champions the idea that there are alternative ways of knowing and being in the world
“Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity” by C. Riley Snorton
Though it primarily focuses on the intersection of race and transgender history, this book contains important insights into how artistic representation and cultural narratives play a role in shaping the identity of trans individuals. Snorton addresses the interplay between blackness and trans identity, and how both have been historically marginalized. Through critical analysis, the author connects histories that have often been viewed separately, shedding light on their intertwined nature. This work is particularly crucial in understanding the depth and range of experiences within the trans community.
“Sister Arts: The Erotics of Lesbian Landscapes” by Lisa L. Moore
Lisa L. Moore’s book explores the deep connections between the lesbian community and the arts, focusing on four artists who use various mediums to express lesbian identity. The book investigates how these artists incorporated the natural world into their work as a metaphor for lesbian desire and relationships. Moore discusses the history of lesbian art and how the artists’ works were received within the context of their times. Additionally, the book highlights the importance of recognizing and celebrating lesbian contributions to art and culture.