More gay art, please!Bottom Highlights Monday, January 9th, 2012
Sometimes the connection between art and the local LGBT community is clear. One example of this is Diversionary Theatre. Diversionary’s productions are accessible to anyone interested in theater, but the work they stage is chosen because it taps into the gay experience (its history, its present and its future). FilmOut San Diego is another organization that serves a similar goal. San Diego is fortunate to have a local theater and indie film scene whose purposes are to provide quality entertainment for the LGBT community.
Sometimes, the reach of a particular event is so broad that it connects people from all walks of life. Comic-Con comes to mind as an example of this.
Beyond this type of story there’s not a whole lot of art happening in San Diego that is driven by an LGBT imperative or designed for an LGBT audience of a caliber that is worthy of our community. Yes, a few coffee houses showcase the work of up-and-coming queer artists (thanks Filter!) and there are several notable art events associated with Pride. I have written about these and will continue to do so. But, with such a sizeable, creative and relatively affluent LGBT community, there should be more performance art, more exhibitions, more spoken-word events, more painting and drawing and photography and film locally.
As we embark upon a new year I am making this plea to all my artist and art-loving friends: If you long for Halloween, so that you can put together the most insane costume idea you have ever had then why not think about designing a show around clothing (one of the most successful exhibitions of 2011 was the retrospective of gay designer Alexander McQueen at the Met in New York – people clearly like looking at outrageous outfits!) If you are a young dyke, journaling on a daily basis and believe you have a voice then find some friends and organize a reading event. If you are queer and retired and enjoy painting or drawing, you are not alone. The experience of work by our LGBT seniors that taps into all that they have seen and done is surely worthy of an exhibition! If you have some extra cash and support the arts, why not help produce an event instead of upgrading to the next iPad?
Another plea: From now on let’s create art that avoids cliché expectations which might bore and therefore limit our audience; lets try to attract a new broader audience with new ideas. It’s time to make art that speaks to the LGBTQ experience in addition to (or better yet, instead of) pink triangles and rainbows. Is it possible to say something about desire that doesn’t rely upon the same set of dreamy, circa 1940 homoerotic poses? Haven’t we seen enough of those? Can LGBT art involve symbols and representations that ring true and that we haven’t seen before?
In closing, please give me something vital and gay to write about in 2012 and I will do all that I can to help find you an audience. Thanks and Happy New Year!
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