“Queer sexuality has been so sensationalized that even a mild expression of it, like holding hands in the street, is highly charged and could have repercussions,” Langberg noted. “Thinking of that as a context, depicting queer relationships in a casual way feels radical still.”
For many artists, the full-frontal view of sex is a way of insisting on their right to be desiring spectators, to normalize their desires by not shying away.
“As blasé as the art world is about sexuality and explicit work, that doesn’t reflect how the outside world relates to these issues,” Langberg said. “Even posting my work on Instagram is touch and go. But the response explicit imagery elicits, especially queer explicit imagery, is in the DNA of my practice. I don’t see it as a problem to overcome, rather as part of the politics of my work.”