Norman Rockwell: Gay Icon?
Is Norman Rockwell the undersung hero of gay art? Sure, I'd just seen the National Portrait Gallery's excellent "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" before I hit the packed Rockwell show on Saturday afternoon. But I couldn't help but notice how very gay this work is. The homoeroticism of "River Pilot" leaps right off the canvas--- all those emphatically phallic horizontals; how the gaze of the fellow in the top hat travels straight to the younger man's rear; the old man's suggestive cigar. "Back to Civvies" takes easily to a gay reading, too, what with its insistence on a nice rear view. And what about that photo of a starlet pinned to the serviceman's wall? Is she a love interest or a fantasy alter ego?
Is a cigar ever really a cigar?
| November 29, 2010; 11:57 AM ET
Categories: Jessica Dawson, Museums, Smithsonian
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