I’ve been meaning to share more LGBTQIAP+ artists for Pride, but I had exams and other obligations this month, plus I have another blog to take care of, so this one kind of took a backseat? Now that it’s summer vacation I’m determined to make it work though! Besides, just because Pride is almost over doesn’t mean I can’t and won’t share other LGBTQIAP+ artists in the future
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these pictures, except for the featured image of the older man holding a rainbow flag
Laurence Philomene – Non-binary (pronouns: she/her, they/them)
Picture from her Non-Binary Portrait Series
One of my favourite new artists* I discovered this month. Following Philomene on Instagram is such a joy?? It’s very colourful and just a celebration of queerness, a theme that’s very important to her along with gender identity and the colour theory. They noticed that there’s a lack of respectful transgender and non-binary representation in the art world. That’s how she got the idea for her Non-Binary Portrait Series, in which she shows transgenders and non-binaries the way they see themselves.
* What am I talking about I love all these artists
Wu Tsang – Transgender
A still from her movie Duilian
Wu Tsang is a filmmaker, installation artist, activist and performer, whose work addresses issues in the LGBTQIAP+ community, especially the trans community. I’m absolutely obsessed with her and need to see her movies, especially Duilian, which is about Qiu Jin, one of China’s most famous poets, a feminist and a revolutionary, who got executed in 1907 due to her involvement in an attempt to overthrow the imperial Chinese government. Despite her fame in China, her private life and sexuality stayed unknown. Duilian covers this lost history and Qiu Jin’s relationship with her girlfriend, the calligrapher Wu Zhiying (played by Tsang herself)
While her work is often formed by her identity as a trans woman of colour, her work isn’t just about gender and sexuality, as Duilian shows. Her work is about much more than that: it’s also about adversity, fantasy, history, communication, intimacy, community.
Alvin Baltrop – Had relationships with both men and women, but preferred the label ‘gay’
Alvin Baltrop deserves SO much more recognition. Being both black and not straight he experienced a lot of discrimination: his work often got rejected and white men stole his work, pretending it was theirs. It being 2018, can be please finally give this man the recognition he deserves?
Baltrop was a photographer who was most famous for his series ‘The Piers’, in which he captured the deserted waterside of New York, which other artists and the LGBTQIAP+ community had made their home. Baltrop himself spent entire days, sometimes even weekends their, while building relationships with the people he photographed.
While ‘The Piers’ is his most famous series, he also photographed Malcom X rallies and the Stonewall Inn (of the Stonewall Riots. If you want to know more about those Riots this is a great article)
Juno Birch – Transgender
Juno Birch is a transgender woman who uses her own experiences as transgender as a starting point for her art. She describes her work as humorous, without tampering the serious topics. When you look at her Instagram it’s definitely clear what she means. Plus it’s very colourful and fun – just a joy to look at! Even better, she has a shop where you can buy her work. Unfortunately the above Cake Face is sold out, but there’s sooo much more great stuff to choose from and I curse my broke self. About her work she said: ‘Growing up as a boy was difficult because I always felt like a girl. My way of escaping was to draw all day, I’d draw pictures of women with big breasts, high heels and long hair. The femininity I lacked I drew out on paper. To this day I still do, my drawing is like my drag.’
Rotimi Fani-Kayode – Gay
Adebiyi , 1989
Rotimi Fani-Kayode was a Nigerian photographer who depicted the experience of black queer men in a way that hadn’t been seen before. Black queer men were often seen in work that objectified them, which was a problem Fani-Kayode addressed in his work. Bisimi Alimi, gay rights activist and a friend of his, said that Fani-Kayode’s work didn’t only show what it’s like to be gay, but what it’s like to be a black gay man. His work fought against the concept of black masculinity and broke all barriers. Fani-Kayode himself said about his work: ‘I make my pictures homosexual on purpose. Black men from the Third World have not previously revealed either to their own peoples or to the West a certain shocking fact: they can desire each other.’
Astro Twitch – Transgender
Street artist Astro Twitch decorates the streets with her colourful graffiti to celebrate and normalise transgenders. Her art is a statement about representation, rights and the survival of women, queer people and transgenders in our culture. Often her work is inspired by global political turmoil, the will to respond to that and the need for an outlet or a coping mechanism. Her works are often accompanied by powerful messages and/or facts like: ‘Transgender women of colour are 1000 times more likely to be murdered’ en ’20% of transgender people will experience homelessness’
That’s it for now! I already know a few others I want to share though, and I know there are so many others out there that deserve more recognition, so more posts will definitely follow
Previous Pride-related posts:
Who are some of your favourite LGBTQIAP+ artists? Let me know in the comments!