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To commemorate the National theme: “Behind the lens”, it is critical to divulge the icons of the past and present in film and cinema history that have contributed to the success of the LGBT+ Community.

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Legends: Icons of the Past

Let's begin discussing legendary LGBT+ individuals of the past:

Henry Scott Tuke

Henry Scott Tuke – English Visual Artist (1858 – 1929)

Trained at the Slade School of Art under Alphonse Legros and Sir Edward Poynter, Tuke developed a close relationship with the Newlyn School of painters, his work being exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, of which he became a Full Member. In addition to his achievements as a figurative painter, he was an established maritime artist and produced many portraits of sailing ships. He was highly prolific, with over 1,300 works listed and more being discovered. His art can be seen today in Tate Modern in London.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo – Mexican Painter (1907 – 1954)

The Mexican artist is remembered for her self-portraits, pain and passion, and bold, vibrant colours. She is celebrated in Mexico for her attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and by feminists for her depiction of the female experience and form. Life experience is a common theme in Kahlo's approximately 200 paintings, sketches and drawings. Her physical and emotional pain are depicted starkly on canvases, as is her turbulent relationship with her husband, fellow artist Diego Rivera, whom she married twice. Of her 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits.

Kahlo did not sell many paintings in her lifetime, although she painted occasional portraits on commission. She had only one solo exhibition in Mexico in her lifetime, in 1953, just a year before her death at the age of 47.

Today, her works sell for very high prices. In May 2006, Frida Kahlo self-portrait, Roots, was sold for $5.62 million at a Sotheby's auction in New York, sets a record as the most expensive Latin American work ever purchased at auction, and also making Frida Kahlo one of the highest-selling woman in art.

Keith Haring

Keith Haring – American Artist (1958 – 1990)

Whilst studying for his degree, Haring experimented with performance, video, installation and collage, while always maintaining a strong commitment to drawing. In 1980, Haring found a highly effective medium that allowed him to communicate with a wider audience in a subway station. He began to create drawings in white chalk upon these blank paper panels throughout the subway system, naming the subway his “laboratory”. Between 1980 and 1989, Haring achieved international recognition and participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions. In 1982, he made his Soho gallery debut with an immensely popular and highly acclaimed one-man exhibition at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery.

Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988. In 1989, he established the Keith Haring Foundation, its mandate being to provide funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children’s programs, and to expand the audience for Haring’s work through exhibitions, publications, and the licensing of his images. Haring enlisted his imagery during the last years of his life to speak about his own illness and generate activism and awareness about AIDS.

By expressing universal concepts of birth, death, love, sex and war, using a primacy of line and directness of message, Haring was able to attract a wide audience and assure the accessibility and staying power of his imagery, which has become a universally recognized visual language of the 20th century.

Derek Jarman

Derek Jarman – Film Maker, Artist and Gay Rights Activist (1942 – 1994)

The script-driven narrative was not for him: instead, he favoured an organic painterly approach, creating vibrant montages of images and ideas. He started out in set design, working on films including 'The Devils', directed by Ken Russell, then moved onto experimental super 8 mm film shorts, a medium he continued working with for many years. Jarman couldn't help but react to the society he was living in, the country that was becoming Thatcher's Britain. His answer to the iron lady was to produce iconoclastic art - art that looked at history but was located in the here and now.

Alongside his feature films he worked with key musicians and artists of the day, including The Smiths, Bryan Ferry, The Sex Pistols, punk band Throbbing Gristle, The Pet Shop Boys, Suede and dancer Michael Clark, producing music videos and film installations for live shows.

In 2008, the Jarman Award was established. It recognises and supports artists working with moving images and celebrates the spirit of experimentation, imagination and innovation in the work of artist filmmakers in the UK.

Trendsetters: Icons of the Present Day

Also the current LQBT+ individuals #Behindthelens:

Elliot Page

Elliot Page – Canadian Actor (Born in 1987)

Known for his acting in Umbrella Academy, however before that he attended the Neptune Theater School. They began their career at the age of 10 on the award-winning television series Pit Pony (1999), for which they received a Gemini nomination and a Young Artist Awards nomination. Later, Page appeared in Marion Bridge (2002), which won the Best Canadian First Feature award at the Toronto International Film Festival. They won a Gemini Award for their role of Lilith in the first season of ReGenesis (2004), a one-hour drama for TMN/Movie Central, and for the cable feature, Ghost Cat (2004), for Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series. In addition, Page appeared in the cult hit TV series Trailer Park Boys (2001). As Elliot Page came out as a trans in 2020, the announcement makes Page the first trans actor nominated for an Oscar after Yance Ford, the director of the documentary Strong Island, became the first-ever transgender filmmaker to be nominated in 2018.

Miriam Margolyes

Miriam Margolyes – English Actress (Born in 1941)

A veteran of stage and screen, award-winning actress Miriam Margolyes has achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic. Winner of the BAFTA Best Supporting Actress award in 1993 for The Age of Innocence (1993), she received Best Supporting Actress at the 1989 LA Critics Circle Awards for her role in Little Dorrit (1987) and a Sony Radio Award for Best Actress in 1993. She voiced "Fly, the dog" in Babe (1995).

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean – American Artist (Born in 1987)

Ocean began his musical career as a ghost-writer, prior to joining the hip-hop collective Odd Future in 2010. The following year, he released his first mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, and subsequently secured a recording contract with Def Jam Recordings. His first studio album, the eclectic Channel Orange (2012), incorporated R&B and soul styles. At the 2013 Grammy Awards, Channel Orange was nominated for Album of the Year and won Best Urban Contemporary Album; one of its singles, "Thinkin Bout You", was nominated for Record of the Year. He was named by Time as one of the world's most influential people in 2013.

After a four-year hiatus, Ocean released a visual album titled Endless in 2016 to fulfil contractual obligations with Def Jam. Ocean self-released his second studio album, Blonde, a day after Endless's release. Blonde expanded on Ocean's experimental musical approach and ranked first on Pitchfork's list of the best albums of the 2010s decade.

Nikkie De Jager

Nikkie de jager – Beauty Vlogger (Born in 1994)

Also known as Nikkietutorials on YouTube. A Dutch makeup artist and beauty vlogger, who gained online popularity in 2015 after her YouTube video "The Power of Makeup" became popular and inspired many other videos of people showing their faces with and without makeup. Forbes magazine named De Jager one of the top ten beauty "influencers" in 2017. She also won the award for "YouTube Guru" at the Shorty Awards and the award for "Choice Fashion/Beauty Web Star" at the Teen Choice Awards. In 2020, De Jager uploaded a video to her YouTube channel, titled "I'm Coming Out", in which she came out as transgender and that she had been blackmailed by a still unnamed person who threatened to make her assigned sex at birth public. She underwent her transition as a teenager. Now she has launched her cosmetic brand, Nimya, after having developed it for three years. The brand featured three products upon launch: Moisturizer/Primer Hybrid, Setting Spray, and Cooling Ice Stick & Glow Serum, as well as a mini fan to go with the products.