Page 340 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 340

320                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            before the trauma of the murder of Robert Opel, a kind of earth mother,
            a leather lioness of the arts.
               And Tom Hinde was one of her cubs.
               Her significance emphasizes his.
               Excuse me for thinking about these times, and these people, and that
            art the way some think about the lives and art of all charmed circles of
            their young adulthood.
               At the time, I thought they were all of interest.
               That’s why I saved everything: letters, invitations, the last Quaalude . . . .
               And took notes.
               And shot photos.
               And made audiotapes and films, and then videos.
               Camille’s letter to the Sentinel is interesting and maybe important
            because she voices her own view of art and morality, which, while very
            liberated, reveals the reactionary Catholic underneath.
               Her art-for-art’s-sake letter is dated “January 27, 1979,” and says:

               Dear Sentinel,
                   In his review in the Jan. 26 Sentinel, Beau Riley has com-
               pared the art of Thomas Hinde as representing “evil,” and the
               art of William McNeill as representing “good.” This approach
               is unfair to both artists, and is irrelevant to the criticism of art
                   If Riley is to criticize art, he can not approach his subject
               as a moralist; he must leave his and others’ lives and lifestyles
               behind, particularly regarding art of a sexual/sensual nature.
                   Riley’s major criticism of Hinde’s work is a reaction to the
               subject matter, and his (Riley’s) projections about it. He was
               obviously quite disturbed by the work. He was, on the other
               hand, quite delighted with McNeill’s work.
                   Riley then proceeds (very ambitiously) to declare that one
               man’s work is “art” and that the other’s is not — on a “good-
               evil” basis. What each artist is appealing to is an experience in a
               specifically sexual area — where one man’s pain is another man’s
               pleasure, where one man’s “heaven” is another man’s “hell.”
                   One of the main properties of successful “art” is its ability
               to place the viewer in the artist’s spirit; in the case of these two
               artists, in his sexual persona and flesh. If one is to truly experi-
               ence sexual art, he must approach it with an acceptance and
               willingness to have congress with the artist’s own vision. If one
               is to criticize it and negate it as “art” outside of technique, the only

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
   335   336   337   338   339   340   341   342   343   344   345