The Brooklyn Museum Hosts 'Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture'

A show that made 'em mad in D.C. comes to town

Pier review: George Wesley Bellow's Riverfront No. 1, 1915
Brooklyn Museum/Columbus Museum of Art
Pier review: George Wesley Bellow's Riverfront No. 1, 1915

Still, "Hide/Seek" marches forward to incorporate more recent artistic representations—specifically, those that tap into bisexual, metrosexual, and transsexual phenomena that outstrip yesterday's unyielding binary identities. No longer just dealing in categories of hetero and homosexual desire, works by figures like Anthony Goicolea, Glenn Ligon, Jack Pierson, and Cass Bird entertain a more indeterminate, less endangered range of artistic expression. (Bird's photograph of a trucker-cap-wearing youth, for example, pushes today's polymorphous hipster androgyny.) Their efforts, in turn, invoke what John O'Hara once termed, with Whitmanesque expansiveness, "the scene of my selves." Today, it's possible to view works by these and other artists without first clocking that they're gay. Their motto might be "Same but different." It's insane, or worse, not to consider that a milestone.

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