Portraits in Dialog
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LIVING HISTORIES
Queer Views and Old Masters
Edited by Aimee Ng, Xavier F. Salomon, and Stephen Truax
GILES. 112 pages, $34.95

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     In Toor’s moody green painting, Museum Boys, two partially dressed men approach a glass vitrine that showcases two naked men tangled in what Toor calls a “fag puddle … heaps of exhaustion and lust.” Perhaps to compensate for insecurity about showing it alongside Vermeer’s famous Officer and Laughing Girl, Toor piled on the imagery: a condom, a urinal, a dainty shoe, and so on. “If I were to redo this painting, I’d take out some of the stuff,” he acknowledges.

Paired paintings at the Frick: Hans Holbein, Sir Thomas Moore, 1527. Doron Langber, Lover, 2021.

   Doron Langberg’s Lover depicts a bare-chested man in dark underwear sitting cross-legged on a colorful couch. Wisely, Langberg has chosen to use a canvas the same size as Holbein’s Sir Thomas Moore, which immediately establishes a relationship between the two works. The pairing also benefits from its psychological tension: Moore, draped in fur and velvet, holding a folded paper in his hand, almost seems to gaze longingly at Langberg’s near-nude lover, who looks with downcast eyes at a sheaf of papers in his lap.

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Michael Quinn writes about books in a monthly column for the Brooklyn newspaper The Red Hook Star-Revue.

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