And Just What Exactly Is Gay Now?
(Click Image for Interactive Slideshow)
Artist Qing Liu’s art works (above) facitiously rewrite tabloid headlines and entertainment gossip to revamp the news in ways that might once have been thought of as “queering” the text.
THE MALE GAZE: AGAINST THE MAINSTREAM
Perhaps it’s the arrival of a new major arts movement, maybe it’s just a symptom of another consumer powered micro-trend, but it certainly seems like something is brewing in the contemporary art world. Some are calling it a flourishing boom of gay male art. One example of it is currently on exhibition in “The Male Gaze,” a just-opened group show at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn. It’s an exhibition that makes it clear a new generation of artists is addressing itself candidly to the varied and mutating shapes of sexuality.
These are younger artists who have barely experienced gayness as a threatened condition. Thus, they seem to have skipped over self-acceptance and the dramas of the closet, moving directly art expressions that are frank, exuberant, celebratory, bawdy and not infrequently marked by the spirit of juvenilia that heterosexual artists have been mining for years.
“The art we’re showing,” said Nicholas Weist, curator of “The Male Gaze,” an assembly of more than 20 mostly young gay artists, “argues for a new kind of alternativism that reacts against the mainstream of the culture.” Not so surprisingly, that includes that expanding part of the mainstream that is gay. And just what might some the personal implications of such an expansion of mainstream of gay culture be? In an interview published in today’s edition of The New York Times, artist Qing Liu provided his own personal observaton:
“Gay culture has been more and more exposed, but what is it?” asked the artist Qing Liu, whose wall installations at “The Male Gaze” drolly rewrite tabloid headlines and entertainment gossip to alter the news in ways that might once have been thought of as “queering” the text.
“I am Qing Liu — Asian and queer, poor and artist, and many other things,” Mr. Liu said. “Everything others claim I am entitles me to a question. And the one question I have been working constantly to raise is, What exactly is gay now?“
Readers can read more of The New York Times article here: Link