Events

In Honor of Laura Aguilar, Artists Consider the Role of Queer Art

Five artists talk about the ways in which gender, sexual identity, and culture play out in their work.

Laura Aguilar, “Plush Pony #2” (1992), Gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches (image courtesy the artist and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, artwork © Laura Aguilar.)

Photographer Laura Aguilar’s bold, fearless works foreground the identities and experiences of often marginalized groups: women, people of color, and the queer community, while celebrating bodies that fall outside a narrow idea of beauty. The first comprehensive retrospective of her work, Show and Tell, currently on view at the Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM), spans three decades, featuring early portraits of LA’s lesbian and Latinx communities, to more recent nature-based images featuring her own nude body.

In conjunction with the exhibition, VPAM will be hosting a discussion this Saturday with five artists — Nao BustamanteCarolyn CastañoAlex DonisSebastián Hernández, and Shizu Saldamando — on the ways in which gender, sexual identity, and culture play out in their work, addressing the questions: “Do these artists understand art as a safe space? Or does their art animate the lack of safety experienced by queer and trans people?” Moderated by Eve Oishi, the talk is part of Freewaves Dismiss, an online and public dialogue about gender and feminism.

Following the talk at 5pm, there will be an after-hours party inspired by the Plush Pony, an Eastside bar popular with lesbians of color, whose community was documented by Aguilar in the ’90s, with DJ sets from Guadalupe Rosales of Veteranas and Rucas, Crasslos and others.

When: Saturday, November 4, 3–8pm
Where: Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM) (East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, California)

More info here.

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