Rick Castro • Ben Cuevas • Ruben Esparza • Connie Fleming • Angela Gleason • Chasen Igleheart • Brian Kenny Bruce LaBruce • Scooter LaForge•Lili Lakich•Slava Mogutin•Dave Naz•Mel Odom•Gio Black Peter
Miguel Angel Reyes• Robert W. Richards•AB Soto•SUPERM • Alonso Tapia•Daniella Woolf • Austin Young Happenings: Odious Ari•DJ Asha•Beloved Spirits•JON VAZ GAR•Gavy K•Devan M•Ian MacKinnon Crystal Powers • Steven Reigns•Themegoman•Rich Yap • Curated by Ruben Esparza • www.queerbiennial.com
Queer is a Queer is a Queer
Whether you take to
the streets of West Hollywood to protest or to get laid; whether you eat taquitos in Boyle Heights, or live in Cincinnati, or St Louis, the barrios of Houston or the lush green plains of Tennessee; or whether you inhabit the tenements of Queens or work the runways of Paris, Milan, New York. We the LGBT community took the word QUEER and re-defined it. And owned it. It is politically-charged and has the legacy of resistance born of the streets through the struggle for our civil and human rights. Sylvia Rivera, QUEER pioneer said it well: “There is a long history of people who identified on the margins of culture,” she said. “It’s about naming a lineage of people who are gender outlaws and didn’t fit into normative ideas about what it means to be gay or lesbian. It’s a way to subvert the idea that we should all be normal. That being like everyone else is a good thing.” We remember the Black Cat, Stonewall; when Larry rebuked us; when we got off our asses. We remember Act Up; we remember all our brothers and sisters who left us way too soon, succumbing to the ravages of the AIDS pandemic. We remember all the politicians’ broken promises. We also honor all our allies who brought us to this place. The future is the all-too-familiar uphill climb, we see the light. The new QUEER generation glides through the world with ease through the lens of technology on the road cut by our QUEER pioneers. We own and celebrate the malleability of the word QUEER and how every QUEER tribe defines it in its own way. We’re here, we’re QUEER, get used to it! Rubén Esparza 2014, LA
State of the [Queer] Union Address
a politico-aesthetic rant by Princess Gavy Kaleidoscope, PhD Ladies & gentlemen, gays & lesbians, faggots & dykes, butches & femmes, trans- brothers & sisters, bisexuals & asexuals, old & young, large & small, mild & wild, ancestors & children of the future, doms & subs, hippies & punks, the 99% & the 1%, the artistic & the autistic, the shamans & the addicts, fellow tranimal goddesses & perverted princesses, in other words, queer-folk:
It is with unusual humility & signature panache that I share with you A STATE OF THE [queer] UNION ADDRESS for 2014. It is not definitive, comprehensive or objective—just the set of observations & opinions that form my perspective—offered to you here with a wink, a nudge, a fist, a howl. Agree with me, disagree with me, ignore me completely, but a framework seems necessary in order to appreciate & interrogate the personal/political impact of the art featured in the QUEER BIENNIAL I. We must first ask ourselves a few questions: WHO ARE WE? WHERE ARE WE? WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE DOING HERE? Let’s take a long, hard glance in the queer-view mirror. It’s 2014 and Barack seems to be easing into the role of lame duck, sitting back until Hillary rises like a phoenix from the ashes of disappointment. Obama has turned out to be more Reagan than FDR— a popular POTUS rather than a populist one. We like him…enough. We trust him…sorta. We’ll forgive him...eventually. (Even as he sells economic & social justice to the highest bidders)
If 2016 rolls around & the U.S. does not have legalized marijuana, comprehensive immigration reform & a healthcare website that isn’t run off of a 1996-era dial-up modem we must admit that this experiment in HOPE has been a failure & accept that we have been fucked-in-the-ass-without-lube by an Ineffective/Kenyan/Muslim/Socialist/Socialite who successfully mashed-up the princely charm of JFK with the digestible assimilation of MLK & placed the “awe-shucks” Americana of Jimmy Stewart alongside the ability to deliver wryly topical observation like Jon Stewart. But, in the end, we’ll see whether he was more concerned with image or truth?
At the very least we have finally been blessed with a FLOTUS who has knocked Jackie O off of her pink Chanel throne once & for all. Michelle IS twenty-first century style. She IS fitness. She IS ease. For the love of Pawnee, that bitch guest starred on Parks and Rec! She synthesizes the tenacity of Eleanor Roosevelt, the birthing hips of Barbara Bush, the fun-loving sociality of Dolley Madison & the warmth of Martha Washington, all with the ebony-flair of Miss Sally Hemmings. She is the second-coming of mother-fucking Oprah. On an International level, queerness continues to be a force of change, resulting in both liberation & repression. Russia & Uganda have harnessed queer-fear into political witch-hunts. India & Germany have broken the gender binary allowing their citizens to officially register as a third gender. Does deviation from the norm bring the world together through creative empathy? Or does it split us apart, fueling a collective obsession with the danger of difference? On the cultural map, queer is as hot as ever. We continue to ask ourselves whether our creative energies are just being appropriated & commodified for mass consumption OR if we are spreading our visions & values vis-à-vis the cultural machine. Doogie does drag as Hedwig and the Angry Inch triumphantly returns to Broadway with the bonus added name recognition of NPH. Jared Leto wins an Oscar for his portrayal of a transgender woman with AIDS. Professional athletes come out of the closet & cruise the locker rooms. Ryan Murphy introduced us to Unique, a young trans-person of color on Glee, & camped-up witchcraft with American Horror Story: Coven, but has taken a sharp right-turn toward the gay-mainstream with his HBO version of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart. a.k.a. Julia Roberts + AIDS = $ RuPaul came under attack recently for delivering her weekly “She-Mail.” Though I find the larger issue with RuPaul’s Drag Race to be the way in which it seeks to legitimize drag culture within the framework of capital. I mean, the winner gets put to work as a walking billboard for Absolut Vodka. The show remains watchable, but anyone looking for a truly fabulous reality TV show replacement should invest some time in a few back seasons of FX’s Face Off… where the serious make-up occurs. Where do I see unabashed queerness in popular culture? The kids of Bob’s Burgers, everything Janelle Monae, the rise of princess boys, the emerging feud between Beyoncé & Monica Lewinsky, Matilda the Musical, Margaret Atwood’s post-apocolyptic, eco-transfeminist MaddAddam Trilogy, the films of Gregg Araki, Katniss Everdeen’s bow & Bronies, of course.
In the artworld, this year’s Whitney Biennale certainly reflected NYC‘s love of queers, as well as finally admitting its admiration for work coming out of Los Angeles. The lower levels of the Whitney now even houses gender-neutral restrooms (institutional progress seems to move as slowly as turtles on Quaaludes). The piece that had the most impact on me personally was queer in its own way--not even a work of art per se. In the back corner of an upper gallery hung a calendar from the mid-1980s on which David Wojnarowicz had scrawled meetings, events, doodles & dates. This living document resonated with the speed, intensity & sweetness of one of our most daringly honest artist/ancestors. I admired his handwriting & offered a silent, narcissistic prayer that one day my calendar would be so esteemed. The New Museum’s partnership last year with Visual AIDS also signified an important recognition & revisiting of our more recent collective traumas. Reaching further back into our past, the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History has queered the very notion of what a museum can/should be. It is time that we look around us & within us & ask ourselves: Who are our David Wojnarowiczes? Our Robert Mapplethorpe-s? Our Jean Genet-s? Our Audre Lorde-s? Our Sylvester-s? Our Gloria Anzaldua-s? Our Jim Henson-s? Our Gertrude Stein-s? Our Marlene Dietrich-s? Our Allen Ginsberg-s? Our Oscar Wilde-s? Our Angela Davis-es? Our Edward Carpenter-s? Our Pier Paolo Passolini-s? Our Sylvia Rivera-s? Our Harry Hay-s? Our Divine-s? Our ______________s? (insert your own queer-o here) It is time that we look around us & within us & ask ourselves: Are we failing our queer youth and elders? What is the future of queer sex? Have we forgotten our queer brothers & sisters behind bars? How has technology silenced our rage & minimized our empathy? Is gendering children a form of abuse? How can we invest in queer divinity, queer economy, queer linguistics? What should we really be terrified of? How do we celebrate our freedom of expression most fully? How do we continue to negotiate the uncharted territory of radical inclusion? Might it be time to queer queerness itself?
Queer is a space. Queer is a time. Queer is an anti-structure. It is no longer an identity, or never was. It is a way of being apart from & a part of the world. The STATE is corrupt. The UNION is broken. All we have is the [queer]. Blessed be. Signed, sealed and delivered May 7, 2014
Rick Fetish King® 2013 ©Rubén Esparza Photography
is an independent filmmaker & photographer living in Los Angeles. Rick’s work explores the world of fetish and fringes of sex culture. His work has been published in artist editions, exhibitions and institutions worldwide.
White Cholo - before, 1994 Matte fiber print- framed, 16 x 20 inches Unique - vintage print
White Cholo- after, 1994 Matte fiber print- framed, 16 x 20 inches Unique - vintage print
Rick Castro Bodyart, 2013, 29 x 39 inches Print edition of 13
Caligulaâ€™s House Party, 1990 Matte fiber print, 11 x 17 inches Edition- Unique- Vintage print
Nude in Paris, 2006 RC b&w print, 8 x 10 inches Unique print
ÂŠJeremy Lucido Photography
is a Los Angeles based interdisciplinary artist whose work spans a wide range of mediums including installation, sculpture, fiber, photography, video, performance, printmaking, and sound. Often incorporating several of these mediums into any given piece, he makes use of digital media as a means of documentation. In light of its pluralistic qualities, he sees his work as a reflection on the condition of embodiment, which begs the question: what does it mean to have a body, to inhabit a body, to be a body incarnated in, and interacting with, this world?
Cunt Envy, 2014 Knit wool yarn on canvas 32 x 23 inches
© Rubén Esparza
© Jeremy Lucido
Duality no. 2: Man’s Body/Woman’s Work Artist Ben Cuevas sits nude in the gallery while knitting himself a full-body jumpsuit from flesh-colored yarn. This is the second in the artist’s series of works dealing with duality and gender. Cuevas makes use of his male body and the historically female practice of knitting to comment on the absurdity of gendered notions of work.
AutoRetrato, Paris, 2013 ©Rubén Esparza
is a Los Angeles based artist, designer, photographer and curator. Rubén explores the complexities and decoction regulation of 1960’s Warholianism with elements of Finish Fetish, Conceptualism, Ethnicity and Queer Culture. Rubén uses the visual language of marketing/advertising aesthetic compounded into serious or waggishly contrived visual puns which takes swipes at art history, mass communication, and the media. His work is included as part of the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Santa Barbara Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, Illinois, among others. His work is in private collections through-out the United States, Latin America, Europe and Japan.
From the Archives to the Archives Queers Signs of the Times, 1994-2014 Mixed media, various sizes
Rubén Esparza GAY IS THE NEW BLACK®/ GAY IS THE NEW BLA, 2014 Acrylic on canvas 12 x 12 in. each (diptych)
Connie Girl Fleming
Noted performer, runway model, stylist, fashion illustrator. . . Connie’s career encompasses so many roles, perhaps she’s best described as a New York City legend. A lifelong resident of New York, Connie began her stage career in the late 80’s performing at just about every downtown venue, including Boy Bar, the Palladium, Underground, Mars, Webster Hall, the Pyramid, Tunnel, and Don Hill’s. She has modeled in New York and across Europe. She’s worked alongside Patricia Field and designer David Dalrymple for 20 years. Connie splits her time between artist and creative direction of the House of Field collections, the casting and production of fashion shows/events, and her work as runway coach.
L for Leigh and B for Bowery, 2014 12 x 14 inches, includes full grouping Limited edition prints 0/50
lives and works in Santa Cruz, where she teaches part-time at Cabrillo College. She was born in Santa Monica at St. Johnâ€™s. Went to school at St. Paul of the Cross Elementary and St. Paul High School. She is the 5th of 7 children. She utilizes precious and mundane materials to explore complex content with a dose of humor. Her inspiration comes from personal experience, political events, found materials and various techniques. The formats she uses range from brooches to rosaries to memorial urns and more. Her artwork has been published in numerous books.
Angela Gleason Fruit of Thy Womb, 2014 Rosary: Sterling Silver and birth control pills
currently lives and works as an Art Educator in Martin ArtQuest for The Frist Center for the Arts in Nashville, Tennessee. In the past few years, his work has taken him to many parts of France, Thailand, and Turkey and the Middle East. His work is derived from his experiences in radical culture, science, gender, art history, and rural upbringings. His works range from painting to performance, installation and film to song and dance. He uses mammalian imagery as a stand-in for contemporary consciousness. In past years, he has taught painting and sculpture at Tennessee Governorâ€™s School of the Arts, The Frist Center for the Arts Museum and around the Southeast. Also interned with The Feminist Boot Camp by Soapbox Inc. in NYC and plans to use this experience in his upcoming artworks and non-profit career.
Tender, 2013 Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches
Wall Mounts, 2014 Card-board and other material Used as props for perormance
And as I returned to Tennessee, I thought of Chris. His soap-clean smell, his hard body, his uplifting Gaze. How I realized myself in his timeless shape. Now I see him as home and as the soil. Like muscle memory and favorite books, I want to experience his wholeness again. To heal my cracks and tarnishes. As if returning from overseas, he is my Queer America where secret handshakes and midnight whispers through the dark mean everything, to no one other than him and I and space and time. Where a kiss in his car returns my body to the ground and my eyes to half-mast. His strong arms crush me into neither man nor woman nor animal but matter itself. In this moment my heart stops beating and instantly begins again.
Chasen Igleheart 2014, TN
Chasen Igleheart Return II, 2013 Oil on canvas, 36 x 44 inches
is a NY based multimedia artist exhibited in galleries, museums and alternative venues in the US, Russia, Israel and across Europe. In 2004 he began collaborating with Slava Mogutin as SUPERM. Kennyâ€™s work in fashion includes commissions for Walter Van Beirendonck, Petrou\Man, Max Kibardin for Bruno Magli and Matthias Vriens-McGrath for TVTOR.
Like Home Magic, 2013 Ink and stickers on paper 13 x 19 inches
Accept/Except, 2013 Ink and stickers on paper 13 x 19 inches
More Horny Than Human, 2010 Ink and a stickers on paper 13 x 19 inches
ÂŠ Bruce LaBruce
is a Toronto-based filmmaker, writer, director, photographer, and artist. He began his career in the mid-eighties with a series of short experimental Super-8 films and co-editing a punk fanzine called J.D.s, which begat the queercore movement. He has directed and starred in numerous films and theatrical productions and his photography has been featured in exhibitions internationally. LaBruce was formerly a photographer for pornographic magazines and has directed multiple award-winning music videos.
Bruce LaBruce with Nina Arsenault Tripartite Goddess I, II, III, 2011 Archival photograph, signed on verso 1/10 18 x 28 inches
began his love affair with art at a very young age, growing up in the small town of Las Cruces, New Mexico. His burning desire to render beautifully began with his singer/song writer mother, and his landscape painting father, that both equally inspired his creativity and lust for art. Scooter received a painting degree at the University of Arizona, and then moved to San Francisco where he tried to find his voice as an artist. After building an impressive painting career in the Tenderloin section of San Francisco, Scooter packed his bags and headed to his next adventure; New York, where he won a fellowship to Cooper Union School of Art. His work is exhibited in U.S., Latin America and Europe
Scooter LaForge Sunset, 2012 Oil on canvas 40 x 40 inches Scooter LaForge Blue Bird of Happiness, 2009 Oil on canvas 20 x 24 inches
is an American artist best known for her work in neon sculpture. Her sculptures have been included in major publications on contemporary sculpture, neon sculpture and feminist art including Lesbian Art in America: A Contemporary History by Harmony Hammond and American Women Sculptors by Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein. Her work is included in many private and corporate collections. She has had solo shows in Tokyo, Paris and throughout the U.S.
Lili Lakich Pray the Gay Away/Way, 2012 Aluminum, glass tubing with argon gas, rhinestones, painted wood, animator 28 x 34 x 5 inches
Lili Lakich Sticks and Stones, 2001 Closed-circuit video, painted steel, acrylic; glass tubing with krypton gas 72 x 24 x 24 inches
Lili Lakich Diesel, 2011 Photo printed on aluminum, found object; glass tubing with neon gas 23 x 19 x 4 inches
About Sticks and Stones The green vinyl feet on the floor say “STAND IN MY SHOES” and when you do your face appears on a green-glowing monitor which functions as the head of a figure. Flickering in the chest area made out of a telephone booth are a litany of derogatory homosexual slurs —“GAY, FAG, DYKE, FRUIT, FAIRY, LESBO, HOMO, QUEER, LEZZIE, NELLIE, PANSY, FAGGOT, FAG HAG, PERVERT, MUFFDIVER, DIESEL DYKE, BULLDAGGER, COCKSUCKER, BULLDYKE, QUEEN.” Nothing in my studio elicits more of a response than this work titled Sticks and Stones which I created for my retrospective solo exhibition at California State University, Northridge in 2001. The interactive sculpture was part of an installation environment of a desert gay bar. While some people find the experience of “standing in my shoes” thought-provoking, others feel threatened and jump off the feet as quickly as possible like the beefy football player who entered my Sirens bar and inadvertently stepped onto the feet. Lili Lakich 2014, LA
Slava Mogutin Old Fashioned, Well Traveled, Athens, NY, 2011 C-print, 16 x 20 inches Edition 3/10
is a New York-based Russian-American artist and writer, exiled from Russia for his outspoken writings and activism. Mogutin’s work is informed by his bicultural literary and dissident background, encompassing the themes of displacement and identity; transgression and disfiguration of masculinity and gender crossover; urban youth subcultures and adolescent sexuality; the clash of social norms and individual desires; the tension between attachment and disaffection, hate and love. Born Yaroslav Yurievich Mogutin (Ярослав Юрьевич Могутин) in the industrial city of Kemerovo, Siberia, he left his family and moved to Moscow at age 14. He soon began working as a journalist and editor for the first independent Russian newspapers, publishers, and radio stations, hailed as one of the foremost voices of the post-Perestroika new journalism and the only openly gay personality in the Russian media.
Slava Mogutin JockHead (Brian), NY, 2010 C-print, 20 x 24 inches Edition 3/10
Art Baselisk Redux A marketplace in the time of war Jack told me I was born on the wrong side of the pool He’s been a hustler forever and will die a jaded queen All tomorrow’s parties: cum buckets in half an hour Can you hear me now? Virile-less blackberries and relentless networks Young art stars with huge trust funds and street credibility The coolest of the cool The hottest of the hot It’s easy to spot them at the right penthouse party At the right pool in the right hotel The hippest of the hip The sickest of the sick There’s a short path from a homo punkboy to a label whore From a starving artist to a star-fucking hole The deepest of the deep The highest of the high How many art fags can you fit in one stretched hummer? How many asses can you kiss in one night? Can you hear me now? No you can’t and you won’t Deaf Cunt Camp Slava Mogutin 2008, NYC
Slava Mogutin Sneaker Sniffer (Josh & Norbert),NY, 2003 C-print, 24 x 20 inches Edition 2/5
Slava Mogutin Anton (Hat Hardon), Moscow, 2000 C-print, 20 x 24 inches Edition 1/5
Slava Mogutin White Self, Brooklyn, NY, 2003 C-print, 20 x 24 inches Edition 2/5
©Rubén Esparza Photography
is a photographer whose work revolves around the varied identities and personae of our time. He has published seven books, and his eighth book, Genderqueer, coming out from Rare Bird Books in 2014. Naz’s photographs are shown in galleries all over the world. His work has appeared in GQ, Maxim, Stern.de, and Salon. Several of Naz’s photos appear in the artwork of Richard Prince. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Oriana, and their menagerie of artwork and animals.
Dave Naz Pig Pen, 2013 Fiber print, signed on Verso 1/3 16 x 20 inches Dave Naz Venus Lux, 2013 Fiber print, signed on Verso 1/3 16 x 20 inches Dave Naz Jamie French & Eva Cassini, 2014 Fiber print, signed on Verso 1/3 16 x 20 inches
ÂŠJoshua David McKenney
is an American artist who has created book covers for numerous novels. Odom is also the designer of the Gene Marshall collectible fashion doll. His Art Deco-like style established him as a commercial artist, at first via erotic illustrations for sexually-oriented magazines such as Blueboy, Viva, and Playboy, the last of which named him their â€œIllustrator of the Yearâ€? in 1980. He has proven to be an inspiration to queer identified artists both in the fine art and commercial art fields.
Mel Odom King, 2014 Pencil on vellum (original drawing) 11 x 14 inches Mel Odom Romanticizing Skip, 2013 Pencil on vellum (original drawing) 11 x 14 inches
Al Parker Jesus, 2014 Archival print on paper Signed edition 1/25 27.5 x 39.5 inches
About Al Parker Jesus I did this drawing in 1988, for my father, a truly religious Southern Baptist gentleman, who loved Jesus dearly throughout his life. He had hanging in his room an earlier, pastel drawing of Jesus that I’d done in my mid-teens, and I wanted to give him a new drawing to go with it. There was no intended irony in my choosing Al Parker as the model. I’d been looking for a model with what I thought the perfect features, and his handsome face was already burned into my consciousness for other, less artistic reasons. Al Parker was a gay porn star of the first rank, with an authentic beauty and sweetness that transcended being merely ‘hot’. Even in b/w still photos a personality emerged beyond what was probably even wanted at times. I was working on this drawing when my father unexpectedly died of heart failure. I put it aside and left it in a tablet of vellum for years, regarding it as an unhappy reminder of a missed opportunity. I thought it was a good drawing, just too sad for me to be able to appreciate. By this time saying goodbye had become a necessary ritual for me and for many, with the scourge of AIDS taking two-thirds of my friends along with unknown millions. I read that Al Parker had died along with them. Considering his pre-safe sex porn career it wasn’t that much of a surprise. We survivors were pretty numb to such news by then. But the next time I came across this drawing it was different. It was not only about an idealized Jesus and my love for my Dad, it had the sexual/sacred charge of too many goodbyes, the beautiful flesh and the spirit inside it, half a face for half a life lived. Mel Odom 2014, NYC
© Gio Black Peter
Gio Black Peter
(born Giovanni Andrade Paolo Guevara) is a New York based performance artist as well as an ardent visual artist. He examines text and subject, truth and fakery, rebellion and authority. His subversive work has quickly earned him a name in the downtown New York scene of young emerging artists who participate in today’s dialogue about the deconstruction of high profile, white box presentation and the desire to raise art awareness. At the core of Black Peter’s thinking is the idea that the life of art depends on the viewer’s willingness to suspend his or her rational thoughts and play into the believability of lies and realistic falsehoods. Familiarity and a seductive aesthetic draw the viewer back to Black Peter’s art – a visceral exploration of vulnerability and self-reflection. Gio Black Peter has performed and shown his artwork internationally. He has had successful exhibitions in Germany, Norway, UK, France, Helsinki, Belgium, Japan and the U.S. Black Peter resides in New York and continues to grow as an artist. His most current work include mixed media drawings, paintings and experimental videos.
Gio Black Peter Eyes Donâ€™t Lie, 2013 Mixed media on paper 5.25 x 7.25 inches Gio Black Peter Property, 2013 Mixed media on archival paper 8.5 x 11 inches Gio Black Peter Year Of The Crocodile, 2013 Mixed media on archival paper. 8.5 x 11 inches
© Rubén Esparza Photography
Miguel Angel Reyes
is a Los Angeles - based portrait and figurative
painter, muralist, printmaker and illustrator. Miguel incorporates expressionist brushwork and a saturated palette in celebration of the classic Latin tradition. Miguel’s accomplishments as a photographer inform the way he creates paintings and prints. When not working from life, Miguel begins by shooting his own photographs on the street, clubs, in studio and elsewhere. Whether working from life or photos, his pieces always create an intimate connection between subject and viewer.
Miguel Angel Reyes Meat Rack 1, 2014 Pastel on paper, 18 x 24 inches Miguel Angel Reyes Meat Rack 2, 2014 Pastel on paper, 18 x 24 inches
Robert W. Richards
is a New York artist who combines elements of mid-century glamor with his provocative and erotic illustration, continuing a stylized legacy of earlier â€œfetishâ€? artists. Richards, best known for his drawings of celebrities, gay porn stars, and hyper-masculine straight men, creates his images with an unmistakeable aesthetic of simplicity. His minimal and carefully placed brushstrokes, bold and spartan coloration, and creative manipulation of negative space become the integral components in his visual innuendo. His work may at once seem a hybrid of pulp fiction art, caricature, and voyeurism. However, his portraits, poses, and vignettes have always prodded our imaginations to fill in the more blatant details, proving that a visual need not be graphic to be highly charged and erotic.
Robert W. Richards Sailor, 2014 Pastel on paper 18 x 24 inches Robert W. Richards Bumping Crotches, 2013 Pencil and marker on vellum 14 x 17 inches
© Naruki Kukita
Born in East Los Angeles, AB’s work as a visual / performance artist and musician is an amalgamation of his Latin roots and early influences – street and pop culture. This combined with a rebellious streak that challenges and questions mainstream gay culture and norms is what defines AB as a recording artist. AB’s early background as a professional dancer and fashion designer informs his work as the artist he is today. All of AB’s work is original and self produced – choreography, lyric, styling and design. AB’s art is a stylized commentary on homophobic attitudes present in the dominant culture. His aim is to show the diversity of the more marginalized members of the gay community and bring them to a wider audience.
Rubén Esparza with AB Soto Crunchy, 2014 Vinyl banner, signed on verso 1/10 27.5 x 39.5 inches
ÂŠ Alonso Tapia
is a Houston, Texas based artist. He moved around to various parts of Houston while very young; in total he was enrolled in 3 different school districts and attended seven different schools. Alonsoâ€™s identity as a child and as an adult is mixed and varied. He has seen the inner city and the suburbs which has informed his work. Alonso finished high school in the suburban city of Tomball, Texas and quickly decided to transfer to the University of Houston to study Photography and Digital Media, it was there that his life was dramatically changed. Although interested in photography, he soon became more interested in performance, appropriation and installation art practices, all of which are helping his reconcile his work through feelings of displacement and dis-orientation. Alonso is now in residence at BOX 13 Artspace in Houston. He plans on expanding his ideas through the use of sculpture, collage and installation.
Alonso Tapia Untitled 1, 2014 Stitched collage on canvas 16 x 20 inches
holds an M.A. in Textile Structures from UCLA She is a recipient of the Gail Rich Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship. She is the author of two books â€“Encaustic With a Textile Sensibility, and The Encaustic Studio. Her work is exhibited internationally and is in many collections and publications. She BLOGs irregularly at Encausticopolis under the name Dotty Stripes. She the Co-President of the Lucky Girls Society with her partner of 22 years, now her wife of one year.
Daniella Woolf Dick Did That, 2012 Paper collage from Dick and Jane book and encaustic on panel 12 x 12 x 2 inches
is a pop-culture architect, photographer and trans media artist. Young has been documenting pop, sub, and trans culture since 1985 through portraiture. Youngâ€™s video works play with pop-culture and camp, celebrity, gender and identity. His photographs have been featured in major publications and he has exhibited internationally. Young is co-founder of fallen fruit, an art collective who use fruit as a common denominator to change the way you think about the world.
Austin Young Fade-Dra, Los Angeles 2011 Archival inkjet print Edition 1/5
Austin Young Tyler Daly, Los Angeles 2007 Archival inkjet print Edition 1/5
Austin Young Fade-Dra, Los Angeles 2013 Archival inkjet print Edition 1/5
Austin Young Dani Daniels, Los Angeles 2011 Archival inkjet print Edition 1/10
Austin Young Lypsinka, Los Angeles 2001 Archival inkjet print Edition 1/10
QBI Happenings took place the evening of Queer Biennial reception June 26, 2014 at Coagula Curatorial PERFORMERS
Odious Ari DJ Asha Beloved Spirits Mark Cramer Ben Cuevas Ruben Esparza JON VAZ GAR Gavy K Devan M Ian MacKinnon Crystal Powers Steven Reigns Themegoman Rich Yap
JON VAZ GAR live performance
P R O D U C E D BY Steven Reigns poetry reading
RubĂŠn Esparza /Mark Cramer of INSTALL Rich Yap live performance
Gavy K recorded reading Crystal Powers, TheMegoman, and Devan M live performance Chasen Igleheart live performance during QBI LA Pride event
Ian MacKinnon live performance Audience impromptu performance
Ben Cuevas live performance
Trey Breazeall and Jas Wade of Beloved Spirit
JON VAZ GAR live performance during QBI LA Pride event
Odious Ari live performance
Video installation presented by Brian Kenny Bruce LaBruce Chasen Igleheart Slava Mogutin AB Soto SUPERM
Brian Kenny video presentation
AB Soto video presentation Bruce LaBruce video presentation
Chasen Igleheart video presentation
Slava Mogutin and Brian Kenny aka SUPERM video presentation
Rally from Rubén Esparza’s interactive installation. Pictured here: Mark Cramer, Yozmit Avalokita, Ben Cuevas, Rubén Esparza, Ian MacKinnon, and Rich Yap.
Photography credits: Ruben Esparza, Lili Lakich, and Miguel Angel Reyes
Chasen Igleheart live performance during QBI LA Pride event
About Queer Biennial Queer Biennial Is a carefully curated show culled from an international list of emerging, mid-career, and established OUT/QUEER/LGBT artists. Artists featured do not shy away from sexuality, identity, the body, and all around queerness. The exhibitions are anchored in Los Angeles, New York, Mexico and Paris with its initial exhibition in Los Angeles on June 2014. The work includes installation, video and live perormance. The Queer Biennial was founded by Los Angeles based artist/curator Rubén Esparza.
About Coagula Curatorial Coagula Curatorial was launched in 2012 by Mat Gleason, founder/editor-in-chief of Coagula Art Journal, a publication which gained notoriety for its no-holds-barred critique of contemporary art and the art world. To celebrate 20 years of publishing Coagula Art Journal, Gleason opened Coagula Curatorial as a premier exhibition space of contemporary art. Located in the historic Chinatown district of Downtown Los Angeles, Coagula Curatorial is the commercial gallery component of the Coagula empire, and in its short tenure has risen to prominence with solo shows by Karen Finley, Llyn Foulkes, Kim Dingle, Mark Dutcher, Tim Youd, Gronk, among others.
About Rubén Esparza Curatorial Rubén Esparza is an artist/designer/photographer and independent curator based in Los Angeles. He is known for curating “happenings” alongside art intallations. He champions and invites artists that step away from the white box systems. Every exhibition or event is carefully researched, and invites participants to follow a conceptual thread or idea(s). Rubén’s style of curating is to inform, facilitate, and step to the side.
About Gavy Kessler Gavy Kessler is a performance artist, playwright, poet and theorist. His work has been seen at Highways and Akbar in L.A. and Dixon Place, PS122, and HERE Arts Center in NYC. He has a PhD in Drama from UC Irvine. His dissertation is on the ethico-aesthetics of promiscuity and the plays of Robert Chesley.
About INSTALL IINSTALL is a public art consulting group specializing in interactive exhibitions that showcase the work of emerging artists in the Greater Los Angeles community. Founded in 2012, INSTALL began as a pop-up installation show in West Hollywood, that served as a forum to bring both established and emerging LGBTQ artists and contributors together. Since then, INSTALL has worked with various individuals and organizations to manage public art projects, as well as, create and curate original art programming. Clients include The City of West Hollywood, The Sunset Strip Business Association, Christopher Street West / LA Pride, The Gay Men’s Chorus of LA and Level Ground.
©Rubén Esparza, 2014 www.queerbiennial.com www.rubenesparza.com West Hollywood, California 90069 310.652.0455