We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Boys will be boys will be boys



David McDiarmid


05 Sep 1952 – 25 May 1995

  • Details

    Media categories
    Mixed media , Collage , Drawing
    Materials used
    metallic paint, pencil, coloured pencil, red fibre-tipped pen and collage of cut colour photo-offset lithograph on graph paper
    64.6 x 51.3 x 1.7 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of Don Baxter 2015. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of David McDiarmid/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    David McDiarmid

    Works in the collection


  • About

    David McDiarmid's first exhibition at the Hogarth Galleries in December 1976 consisted of 32 collage, text and drawn works on paper which explored gay identity and sexual desire, often with specific references to inner city Sydney. This group of works are from this exhibition which launched McDiarmid in Sydney, the opening of which is remembered by his close friend Sally Gray as "…a sensation. A modish crowd of young people, seemingly elated at the art, the summer night and the potentiality of the times, combined to create that special combination of sexual politics, radical chic and fashionable glamour characteristic of the launches of McDiarmid's shows in Sydney throughout the 1970s."

    While McDiarmid worked widely with art, fashion and design his foregrounding of an often radical gay identity and sexual politics was central to his practice. In fact, McDiarmid was the first person arrested in Australia protesting for gay rights, in 1972. These collages and drawings trace an urban gay man's desires and the places where he could connect with other gay men, and importantly, as the exhibition titled "Secret love (drawings)" suggests, they brought into public view a sexuality that was often still invisible and certainly still illegal in Australia.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by David McDiarmid

See all 23 works