Long Beach

Patrick Angus, Untitled (Pool Hall), date unknown, crayon on paper, 14 × 17".

Patrick Angus, Untitled (Pool Hall), date unknown, crayon on paper, 14 × 17".

Patrick Angus

Long Beach Museum of Art

In Patrick Angus’s painting Flame Steaks, 1985, a dozen men sit apart from each other in a dark bar. Outside, it is still daytime, and two men lean invitingly on opposite sides of the street, cruising together yet apart. Inside the establishment, one man combs his hair back while another spreads his legs (he wears mauve jeans), letting his hands dangle around his crotch in an artfully unpracticed manner. The only other bits of color in this otherwise muted scene are in the lit cherry of a cigarette, a pair of red shoelaces, the wisp of a red hanky peeking out of a back pocket, and two large yellow signs advertising (what else?) FLAME STEAKS. Angus’s reputation (if he has one in recent art-historical memory) is as a painter of the sexual milieu—lively gay bars, porn theaters, and bathhouses—in which he directly participated. Some of his best paintings in this particular genre, which we

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