“The history of LGBT art in America has been a game of hide and seek; lots of images of import to sexual minorities but never talked about and rarely acknowledged.” — Jonathan Katz
IN THE LIFE is front and center at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to cover the first major museum exhibition to feature artwork exploring sexual difference and gender expression. The headline-making exhibit explores artistic representations of sexual identity and homosexual desire.
The show has ignited a wave of controversy among lawmakers, religious leaders and the public, leading to the removal of David Wojnarowicz’s acclaimed video, “A Fire in My Belly,” which represents the artist’s anger and rage as he faced death from AIDS. IN THE LIFE speaks with artists, historians and curators who contend that Hide/Seek reveals diverse reflections of sexuality and celebrates the complex contours of American identity.