Miss Rosen writes about the exhibition “Sex Crimes” for Another Man:
Rooted in the decades before Stonewall, Sex Crimes features work by artists including George Platt Lynes, John S. Barrington, Bruce of Los Angeles, James Bidgood, Mel Roberts, Jim French, and Jack Smith, all of whom created homosexual art and literature under the threat of arrest.
“I’ve always been interested in how we as a people function in that way because that was the history of being gay for so long,” Ellis says. “People had to operate this way in order to survive and you can see that in the creation of safe spaces and artwork. Stonewall Inn was run by the mafia and there were pay-offs to the local police precincts and patrolmen but they still had to function under the radar. These spaces displayed signage in the windows for the gay community to know that it was a friendly place. Unless you knew what was going on, you wouldn’t understand what it meant.”