Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

LGBT History Project: Tee A. Corinne: Photographer of lesbian sexuality
By Victoria A. Brownworth
2021-10-19

This article shared 1516 times since Tue Oct 19, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Over her decades as a lesbian photographer and artist, Tee Corinne said, "I'm one of the most obscure famous artists."

Famous? Yes. Obscure? Certainly not within artistic circles nor within the queer art world where she began doing groundbreaking work in the 1960s. According to Completely Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia, "Tee Corinne is one of the most visible and accessible lesbian artists in the world."

Corinne said in an interview with photographer Barbara Kyne in 2000 about why she chose photography: "I wanted to do something where content and politics could be satisfied. Fine art has problems with accessibility. I was a southerner active in the civil rights movement in the south. Printmaking was one way I could integrate art with politics. Photography is another."

Known best for her erotic lesbian photographs and her photographic portraits, Corrine was also an artist, writer, poet, essayist, sex educator and art historian. She spent the last 25 years of her life living in the Oregon woods, but she was also an urbane and urban-focused creative.

Corinne wrote of her move to Oregon where she lived in various women's land communities before settling in her own place outside Medford, "Slowly, in Oregon, I reconnected with the deep levels of creativity that run in me and began producing work which pleased me."

That work was wildly innovative and, like that of her gay male contemporary, Robert Mapplethorpe, provocatively erotic. Lesbian erotic iconography had been viewed through the male gaze as an element of heterosexual pornography for centuries. Corinne situated it firmly within the female—and lesbian—gaze.

Corinne was succinct in what she was striving for in her work: "I'm interested in loving, beautiful, sexy images. I also want the images to be a turn-on, create an adrenaline high, a rush of desire so intense that the act of looking is sexual."

In Pictures and Passions: A History of Homosexuality in the Visual Arts, James M. Saslow writes, "Tee Corinne broke ground for lesbian photography as both historical document and erotic fantasy: her celebrations of women's passion in non-male terms layer frank sexual acts with elaborate symbolism. [She has made a] conscious effort to expand the narrow canon of traditional female beauty."

In Beyond the Static Image: Tee Corinne's Roles as a Pioneering Lesbian Artist and Art Historian, Stefanie Snider writes, "Corinne's work manages to fulfill feminist ideals while also working outside of the norms set up in both the lesbian and mainstream realms of art and art history."

Writing in Uncommon Heroes, Paula Neves notes that Tee Corinne's "graphic depictions of women of all shapes, sizes, beauties and physical abilities have departed from both fashionable standards of sexual correctness and from the Playboy Mentality."

Neves' assessment is accurate. Corinne photographed herself and other women nude more often than not and those depictions fall well outside the patriarchal standards of what female bodies are supposed to look like and the role they should play. Corinne didn't just shatter the male-gaze stereotypes of lesbians, she shattered and redefined the lesbian standard of photographs by daring to depict butch lesbians naked, disabled lesbians as sexual, and sexual acts between women as almost otherworldly in their sensuality.

Corinne's work was so far outside heterosexual norms that it was frequently the subject of censorship. In 1998, Corinne's Cunt Coloring Book was used by the Traditional Values Coalition as an example of pornography in a presentation to the Senate. Her book was also cited as exemplifying the personal peccadillos of James Hormel, a gay San Francisco philanthropist who had been nominated by then-President Bill Clinton for the ambassadorship to Luxembourg. Corinne's book was, at that time, part of the Gay and Lesbian Center of the San Francisco Public Library that Hormel had helped fund and which is now named for him.

What defined Corinne as both an artist and person was her boundless curiosity. She was relentlessly interested in everything, and her excitement at uncovering something new—like a tidbit of art world gossip from this century or another—was accompanied by an entre nous telling of the story that was, due to Corinne's excitement at the discovery, as intriguing for the listener as it was for her.

That burning interest kept her vision expansive until her untimely death from bile duct and liver cancer in 2006, at age 62.

Born in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1943, Corinne began carrying a camera at eight and writing about her artistic vision in high school, filling notepads with drawings and other images.

Corinne studied art and painting at Newcomb College in New Orleans, then earned a B.A. in printmaking and painting, with minors in English and history, from the University of South Florida in 1965.

Corinne was awarded a master's of fine arts in drawing and painting from Pratt Institute in 1968, after which she began teaching college art courses. She moved to San Francisco in 1972 and worked briefly in the sex education field, which propelled her into other artistic work.

It was in this period that Corinne came out as a lesbian after a brief marriage to a man. She and photographer Honey Lee Cottrell were partners for several years and it was during this relationship that Corinne's art turned highly erotic, featuring scenes of lesbian lovemaking.

She also started drawing female genitalia and collected those drawings, self-publishing them in Cunt Coloring Book in 1975. When the lesbian publishing company Naiad Press formed in 1973, Corinne created the first 50 covers.

Corinne's work expanded into art history and art criticism. She wrote about art for a variety of publications and, from 1987, was the art books columnist for Feminist Bookstore News.

She was a co-facilitator of the Feminist Photography Ovulars (1979-81) and a co-founder of The Blatant Image, A Magazine of Feminist Photography (1981-83). A co-founder and past co-chair of the Gay & Lesbian Caucus, an affiliated society of the College Art Association, she also co-founded the Women's Caucus for Art Lesbian & Bisexual Caucus.

This work was an integral part of her oeuvre as an artist, and throughout her life, Corinne researched to uncover the work of lesbian and other women artists.

Corinne's final work was Scars, Stoma, Ostomy Bag, Portacath: Picturing Cancer In Our Lives. The subject was partner Beverly Brown's body during the last year of Brown's life, when she was dying of cancer.

Corinne said, "The images we see, as a culture, help define and expand our dreams, our perceptions of what is possible. Pictures of who we are help us visualize who we can be."

Moonforce Media created the Tee A. Corinne Prize for Lesbian Media Artists in 2006 to annually honor Corinne as an artist with bold vision and a fierce dedication to encouraging and preserving lesbian art. The award is an unrestricted grant of up to $1,000 annually. The prize is dedicated to artists working in photography, film, video, digital media, new media, or any fusions of these forms and in any genre including documentary, narrative, experimental, or any other styles or combination of genres. The award furthers Corinne's wish that individual lesbian artists be financially supported to work independently and without censorship.

Corinne's work is archived at the University of Oregon Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives, where it is available for research. The collection includes "correspondence, literary manuscripts, artwork, photographs, artifacts, and other documents that reflect Corinne's life and work."


This article shared 1516 times since Tue Oct 19, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

LGBT HISTORY MONTH 'Memory Book' details history of 1970s-era LGBTQ+ attorneys in U.S.
2022-10-01
Stephen Lachs remembers the 1970s as being a particularly wonderful era in the history of the LGBTQ+-liberation movement. Lachs, 83, was the first out LGBTQ+ person appointed to a judgeship in the United States. Tapped by ...


Gay News

LGBT HISTORY MONTH Archives for ALL, y'all!
2022-10-01
The contributions of LGBTQ people toward the betterment of the world cannot be underestimated and the world is a better place when LGBTQ people are allowed to flourish. From government and warfare to engineering and science ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart fall benefit on Oct. 15
2022-09-30
Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, 6500 N. Clark St., will hold its fall benefit on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. "Unboxing Queer History LIVE!" will be an in-person event to celebrate and support its mission to ...


Gay News

SPORTS Soccer legend leaves drug company; women's team in gold-medal game
2022-09-30
Lesbian soccer legend Abby Wambach told ESPN that she intends to fully sever ties with a concussion drug company that is backed by former NFL quarterback Brett Favre and is at the center of a Mississippi ...


Gay News

MONKEYPOX/MPXV More than 100 groups call for increased action
2022-09-28
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) penned a letter to elected leaders calling for more funding and action to help stop the monkeypox (MPXV) outbreak. More than 100 LGBTQ+, health ...


Gay News

Hannah Gadsby signs deal with Netflix
2022-09-26
Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning comedian Hannah Gadsby signed a multi-title deal with Netflix, per a press release. The deal includes a new, hour-long special from Gadsby, recorded on the Australian leg of their Body of Work ...


Gay News

ART Chicago artist part of German exhibit 'Queering the Crip'
2022-09-25
"Queering the Crip, Cripping the Queer"—called the first international exhibit exploring the multiple historical, cultural and political intersections of queerness and disability—will take place through Jan. 30, 2023 at Berlin's ...


Gay News

WORLD Bias claims, Qatar policy, AHF pledge, drag queen dies at 28
2022-09-25
People of color have accused several LGBTQ+ venues in the heart of the Gay Village in Manchester, England, of racism and racial prejudice, VICE noted. Ten Black, Asian and Latinx people who identify as lesbian, gay, ...


Gay News

National AIDS Memorial releases 'The Black Community & AIDS'
2022-09-23
The National AIDS Memorial has released its latest mini-documentary, "The Black Community & AIDS," the seventh film in its oral history project. "The Black Community & AIDS" chronicles the personal stories of nearly two dozen survivors ...


Gay News

Out comic/writer Sam Jay talks career ahead of Wicker Park performance
2022-09-22
Stand-up comic and Emmy-nominated writer Sam Jay will be performing at The Den Theatre, located in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, on Sept. 23-24. The first Black lesbian writer in Saturday Night Live's history, Jay is a ...


Gay News

Artemis Singers to present 'Samhain - Encounters through the Veil' Oct. 29
2022-09-22
-- From a press release - CHICAGO─Artemis Singers, www.artemissingers.org, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will present a unique, timely concert, "Samhain - Encounters through the Veil," about the time of year when we reflect on those who have gone before and honor t ...


Gay News

BOOKS 2022 #BannedTogether virtual auction taking place Sept. 22-25
2022-09-22
On Sept. 22-25, non-profit organization Pride and Less Prejudice (PLP) will hold its second annual #BannedTogether virtual auction to raise $10,000 to send 800 LGBTQ+-inclusive books to elementary schools across the United States and Canada. The ...


Gay News

COMEDY Cameron Esposito at The Den Theatre on Dec. 30-31
2022-09-22
The Den Theatre is welcoming back LGBTQ+ comedian Cameron Esposito, performing two stand-up shows on Dec. 30-31, 2022 on The Heath Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. Esposito (a onetime Windy City Times 30 Under 30 honoree) ...


Gay News

Human Rights Campaign makes history with new president
2022-09-20
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF) announced that Kelley Robinson (she/her) will become the organization's ninth president—and the first Black, queer woman to lead the ...


Gay News

Dozens arrested at EuroPride march in Serbia
2022-09-19
Serbian police arrested more than 60 people as thousands of LGBTQI+ activists turned out for Belgrade's EuroPride march on Sept. 17—despite a governmental ban, The Guardian reported. The event had been intended as the culmination of ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.