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Gabriel Garcia Roman
New York, NY
Neighborhood: Sunset Park



ARTIST STATEMENT: Queer Icons The subjects in the series Queer Icons are people of color, who also maintain identities within the queer community. I imbue rarely seen contemporary figures whose facial gestures alone carry immense power and nuance, much like the classic iconography of saints. By applying a chine- collé technique to a polymer photogravure print process, I reference the style of Renaissance and Russian icon paintings, transforming everyday denizens by bringing out their iconography. The work juxtaposes traditionally disempowered urbanites with the roles of gods.

Why LGBT figures? I am exploring the edges of gender, as expressed in the nuances of the contemporary urban world: A simple eye shape, an angle of a mouth, the tilt of the head - indicating a queering of traditional forms and roles. The outsiders I photograph are central, worthy of emulation. Much like traditional religious paintings conferred a sense of safety, calm and meditation into a home, the works in this series confer a similar sense of calmness and strength, drawn from the inner grace of the subjects out onto a world that we might not always perceive as safe. These are figures that are double-outsiders drawing upon a strength that few others can fathom, let alone relate to.
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