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Euphiletos Painter, Panathenaic prize amphora depicting runners, ca. 530 B.C. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The Ancient Olympics in Art

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This year’s Olympics in Tokyo are, without a doubt, the gayest Olympics in modern history. At last count, more than 180 out LGBTQ athletes were participating in this year’s games, and “Team LGBTQ” was in eighth place with 22 medals. Only a small minority of those participants are men, and the medal count reflects that: So far, only two out gay men have won medals: Tom Daley’s gold in diving, and Carl Hester’s bronze in dressage.

Yet when not competing, today’s Olympians are more demure than ever. As Outsports reported, “male rowers now wear loose pants and medal ceremonies after 2012 bulge pics went viral.”..  >> Read more >>

Diadoumenos, Roman copy of work by Polykleitos, AD 69-96

The Male Nude in Western Art

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Love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny that the male nude has taken a back seat to the female nude in the history of western art.

Female nudes outnumber male ones in major museum collections. When curators just write “nude” in a caption, they tend to mean female nude; if the subject is a man, they almost always write “male nude.” And when the Rivington Design House gallery in New York put a photograph of a nude man in the window several years ago, it caused a minor scandal.

But this was not always so...  >> Read more >>

Tom's room in Los Angeles by Henning von Berg

Long live Tom of Finland!

Known for his masterly erotic drawings of leather-clad bikers in captain’s hats, Tom of Finland was one of the iconic gay artists of the twentieth century.

Touko Valio Laaksonen was born in 1920 in Kaarina, Finland. He studied advertising in Helsinki, then served in the Finnish armed forces during World War II. He was gay and made erotic drawings for his own pleasure, but in a country where homosexuality was a crime until 1971, he was long deprived of the ability to publish them or display them publicly.

His drawings first appeared in 1957 in Physique Pictorial, the beefcake magazine published by Los Angeles photographer Bob Mizer, who coined the pseudonym “Tom of Finland.”..  >> Read more >>