30 Day Trans* Challenge
Day 24: Who is your favorite LGBT actor/ musician/ director/ artist? Why?
Mmm… I’m going with Romaine Brooks.
When I first got beyond the usual greats (Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, Caravaggio, etc) and started looking for queer artists, it was pretty intense biz …all Mapplethorpe, Tom of Finland with a little David Hockney thrown in from library books. All mind blowers, all dudes. So, I set off to find more women artists crossing my fingers to find a gay lady in the mix. When I found Romaine on an old Geocities website, it was as though something fell into place. Here was a stunning lesbian painter who focused on the figure and messing with gender stereotypes. The use of darks and grays gave her paintings a haunting levity without having to prove anything. The poet Robert de Montesquiou wrote an appreciation calling her “the thief of souls.” I certainly found myself being drawn back to her work time and time again.
Last year, I was at a gallery show of well known LGBTQ artists and her Self-Portrait, 1923 was there. When I saw the painting, it was literally like I was kicked in the gut. Then, I couldn’t stop smiling.
Other works by Romaine Brooks:
Plus, she penned my favorite quotation, “Be a slave to nothing but your toothbrush.” :>