Public Art, Private Expression

Why do so many public murals seem to have a homoerotic tone?

BY Christopher Harrity

July 20 2013 4:00 AM ET


Thomas Hart Benton
Benton identified as strictly heterosexual. In fact, during much of his career, he fostered the idea that the only legitimate art was non-abstract and masculine. He promoted the idea that all European art was too feminine. He spread rumors of American Gothic artist Grant Wood's homosexuality to other colleagues and students. Google image Thomas Hart Benton Mural. You will see the results are a mass of anatomically incorrect muscle. But he manages to get a brawny, bare-chested or nearly nude man, often many of them, in most of his work.

Tags: Art

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