Patrick Angus's keenly-observed images of the gay underclass of the 1980s are a major contribution to the legacy of American social realism, as embodied in the work of such artists as Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Reginald Marsh and Paul Cadmus. His work sympathetically captures, with understanding and wit, the longing and loneliness of many urban gay men of the era.
Although his style and subject matter are influenced by the works of David Hockney, Angus’s depictions of sexual liberation are decidedly less glamorous, highlighting the isolation that gay men experienced during the AIDS crisis. Angus rendered his works in graphite, coloured pencil, pastel, watercolours and oils, and often situated his subjects in ‘unsavoury’ establishments including strip clubs, porn theatres and bathhouses. The playwright Robert Patrick described Angus as ‘the Toulouse-Lautrec of Times Square’.