Prominent LGBTQ Portrait Painters and Photographers

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Portraiture is a way to memorialize an individual or group at a specific point in time through art. Until the advent of photography, the typical way to do this was through a commissioned painting by an accomplished artist, an art form reserved for the wealthy. The invention of photography allowed portraits to become mainstream, though professional photographers are often retained to produce a highly stylized and artistic picture of the subject.

Many portrait painters and photographers have received their acclaim by working with powerful and popular people in the arts or politics.

The goal of the artist or photographer is to capture the inner essence of the individual through the art. This opens up the concept of the interplay between the subject matter and the artist who attempts to capture the unique characteristics of the individual.

Critics are in general agreement that, through this interactive process, prominent LGBTQ portrait painters and photographers bring a unique style to their work that reflects their sexual orientation. Prominent LGBTQ portrait painters such as Britain's Gluck or America's Kehinde Wiley (who painted the official portrait of former President Barack Obama) and Anna Elizabeth Klumpke have been praised for their artistic style of painting which reflects their own sexual identity. The same is said of prominent LGBTQ photographers such as America's Annie Leibovitz, Germany's Wolfgang Tillmans (the first photographer, and first non-English artist, to win the Turner prize), and South Africa's Zanele Muholi.

We have identified the following individuals as notable LGBTQ portrait painters and photographers. Simply click on their names to read their fascinating biographies.







Great Britain







South Africa

The Netherlands

United States

See Also

Further Reading/Research

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