ARTIST STATEMENT: My grandfather was a closeted gay man and hid his secret until his last days. Through resurrecting the images produced by pre-Stonewall gay male artists, and creating object talisman that connect to his memories, lovers, and experiences; I am helping my grandfather to come out of the closet.
The oral history of hidden gay identity translates into visual representations of the lonesomeness accrued from generations of socially estranged individuals. The work I produce revitalizes these images, producing a ghostly impression of shared identity. The time prior to the Stonewall Riots inspires the work because, prior to the riots, freedom and reform was restrained and limited to hints of a complete vision of acceptance. My grandfather also lived the majority of his life prior to the Stonewall Riots.
In using materials that deny opacity and allow permeability, I am referencing memory as well as describing a state of being. Creating art objects that present portions of a full image reveals a feeling of malaise but is then resolved within the aesthetic of the form. Reflecting upon memory, which has no boundaries as well as no physical objectivity; the work floats within the space and references pieces of a larger whole or experience. In using the work of artists past, I am also speaking to the transcendence of ideas through generations. The void accrued through generations of social discrimination allows for the flow of romantic dreams. I am recalling a story of pain and duality, misfortune, loss, and passion.
In reflecting upon an estranged brotherhood of men that lived within the society of the norm but experienced love outside of the strict societal confines, I hope to highlight the struggle experienced prior to the more accepting society we live in today.