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Posted inArt

Gay Pride and Self-Representation Under the Lavender Scare

Before pride parades, Stonewall, the It Gets Better Project, and “Born This Way,” a circle of friends, lovers and artists unabashedly embodied and represented their own homosexuality. This group coalesced around Paul Thek, expressing their identity during a deeply conservative era, as seen in the important and enlightening exhibition Paul Thek and His Circle in the 1950s at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

Posted inArt

Free to Be You and Meme

Unless, somehow, you miraculously haven’t accessed your Facebook or Twitter in the last two days, you’ve probably noticed a proliferation of crimson tiles with superimposed pink equal signs popping up in avatars and profile pics. The instantaneously ubiquitous logo, a riff by the Human Rights Campaign on its own original design, was posted in response to the two landmark Marriage Equality cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this week. Indeed, a report by the Chicago Tribune estimated that, within hours of its original posting, the image had been shared over 20,000 times. By Wednesday, the original design had transitioned into a fully-fledged internet meme, altered and hastily reconfigured much like last years pervasive image of Hillary Clinton texting from the belly of military plane cargo hold.

Posted inNews

A Ukrainian Catholic Church Declares Taras Polataiko’s Sleeping Beauty Project “Lesbian Propaganda”

CHICAGO — Fairytales are make-believe until a country’s Catholic Church decides to protest them.

Ukranian-Canadian artist Taras Polataiko’s experimental performance artwork “Sleeping Beauty,” a modern-day retelling of the titular fairytale restaged at the National Museum of Art Ukraine from August 22 to September 9, has been decreed “lesbian propaganda” by the Kiev Byzantine Catholic Patriarchate Church.

Posted inArt

Gay Life Portrayed in Traditional Chinese Paper-cuts

LOS ANGELES — Being different is never easy, more so when you live in an infamously restrictive and conservative Communist Chinese society. Born in a farming village of the Shaanxi province, Xiyadie (a nom de plume meaning “Butterfuly in Siberia”) turns traditional paper-cut art into colorful, risqué pieces dealing with gay love and life.

Posted inArt

Can We Queer the (Art) World, and Why Should We?

I’m going to start this essay with the conclusion. Why should we be looking for different ways of thinking about and living in the world? Because many of the dominant political social, and intellectual structures that currently underpin our society have proven themselves to be colossally flawed, so we need to begin looking for different ways of doing and thinking about things.

Posted inOpinion

New Film Explores Bullying in Schools

LOS ANGELES — The It Gets Better project. The Born This Way Foundation. These high profile movements powered by celebrities like Lady Gaga aim to reduce bullying in schools. And while statistics tell compelling stories, we often need film to illustrate the challenges. And film can tell us the stories of ordinary individuals outside the limelight.

Posted inArt

What Happened to Charles Atlas?

Wading my way through an opening crowd consisting of a bizarre combination of bearded and flanneled Bushwick hipsters, New York Times critic Roberta Smith and MoMA PS1 curator Klaus Biesenbach at Chelsea gallery Luhring Augustine’s new Bushwick location, I was shocked to discover a cold screensaver-esque video installation by filmmaker Charles Atlas, leaving me with some serious questions about the progress and demands on queer art.

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