An extraordinary character

Brought to life by an extraordinary actor.

‘… the more I have read the book, the more recent readings of the book have me realized that it’s not about gender at all. It’s not about gender. It’s about limitlessness and it’s about — it’s — it’s about revolution.”

Tilda Swinton with B. Ruby Rich: Orlando | Live from the NYPL

Twenty-seven years after starring in Orlando, a film adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel, Tilda Swinton became a guest-editor in the Aperture 235 – Summer 2019 issue, and curator of an accompanying exhibition around the theme of the gender fluid, extraordinary character that is Orlando.

One of the unmissable NYPL live conversations at a time when the only concern was booking before the event was sold out.

May 29th, 2019

Ode to beauty at the de Young

Timeless Beauty Beyond Gender.

John Koch (1909-1978)
The Bridge, ca. 1950
Oil on canvas

Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
Easter Morning (Portrait at a New York Window), 1921
Oil on canvas

Sergeant Kendall (1869-1939)
Cypripedia, 1927
Oil on canvas

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938)
Elizabeth Platt Jencks, 1895
Oil on canvas

Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862-1938)
The Blue Veil, 1898
Oil on canvas

Henry Brown Fuller (1867-1934)
Ebba Bohm, ca. 1905
Oil on canvas

Robert Henri (1865-1929)
Lady in Black with Spanish Scarf (O in Black with a Scarf), 1910
Oil on canvas

Would you have known this was a bloke, had there not been a title? Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920)
Pierre-Edouard Baranowski, ca. 1918
Oil on board

A painting with an interesting background. Nothing to do with the gender-bending figure of Mr. Baranowski, it was its very origin and authenticity that were in doubt.

The artist is present in every stroke, her unique style instantly recognizable: Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986)
Petunias, 1925
Oil on hardboard panel

Treasures of the de Young

Merry-Making in the Mansion

Six-fold screen, gold and pigment on paper (detail)
Attributed to the Kan-ei Era (1624-1644)

“In this pansexual wonderworld, many beautiful women and wakashu are in the service of only a few men. The boat rowing in from the right carries one such man, who drinks sake while both a wakashu and a woman serenade him on shamisen. A group of wakashu frolic in the water, observed from above by other youths and some female prostitutes. On the gilded expanse to the left, a prostitute and her girl-servant (kamuro) chat up two wakashu while the multistoried pavilion above buzzes with music, drink and conversation between female prostitutes, wakashu and some men. To the right, a Buddhist monk topples over as a group of wakashu playfully hold down his hands and feet and ply him with wine; during the Edo period, monks were supposed to abstain from sex, even though nanshoku – sex between men and wakashu – was considered less karmically precarious than sex with women.”

From ”A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints” the first exhibition in North America devoted to the portrayal of wakashu, or beautiful youths—a “third gender” occupying a distinct position in the social and sexual hierarchy of Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868).

May 19th, 2017