I had three very timely awakenings at this year's Outsider Art Fair, sponsored by the Museum of American Folk Art, in Chelsea, for five days ending on May 11. They were stunning, shaking me all over, and ultimately beautiful.
There are three ways to look at the work in the new show at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art: "Stroke, from Under the Mattress to the Museum Walls," a show of gay erotic art, mostly drawings, during the "Golden Age of Gay Erotica.
It's a beautiful, moving film about a very tender subject: artists who die young but leave us an extremely important part of themselves. How do you preserve this? How do you keep this beautiful "self" alive when it's a piece of art?
To me, as a gay Jew at this difficult Christmas, thinking about Jean Valjean (and his creator Victor Hugo), even remembering crying my eyes out over him, are all very good. Because goodness is definitely its own reward, and we need to remember that.
Why does this beautiful, nostalgic (OK, maybe phoney nostalgic, but even phony nostalgia has its place) time that reaches back somehow into the childhood of every man, woman, dog, and cat, have to be about shopping mania?
I lived in New Orleans during the early 1980s, and people got so complacently used to the threat of hurricanes out in the Gulf that they gave "hurricane parties" when the waters started to brew up their own hot madness each year. But this was no party in New York. This was déjà vu all over again.