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ART WITH A MANIFESTO – Round Hole Square Peg 2

What, you might ask is Queer Photography? Queer identity is not simply a sexual one. Queer artists have a perspective and an experience to contribute to society that is wholly their own  and it’s a rich and worldly one.  Having been marginalized and alienated for so long has developed a unique view of self worth, self image, spirituality and companionship.  Perhaps because we have a different point of view, gay artists can look at the world and mirror it back to the human condition with insight,  style,  glamor and fun.  From Kenneth Anger to James Bidgood, to Arthur Tress, Herb Ritts, Mapplethorpe, Pierre et Gilles, Zackary Drucker, David La Chapelle, Katherine Opie, Brooke Mason, Austin Young and Mei Xian Qiu,  queer photographers have branded their work with queer celebrations of sensuality. An out-rage-ous color palette and an offbeat way of expressing sexuality often becomes  markers of queer photography;  a genre of work  defined by a certain look, style and by thematic conversations that are filled with same-sex,  bi sex, or trans-sex  style and sensuality.

The process of coming out – long ago, to be out, was to be an out-law- for those who have passed as straight in a homophobic world, can help explain why many in the LGBT community have embraced the word queer to self identify. The world is changing for us and becoming a joyous place.  Can heterosexual people can also be queer?   Yes, of course.  I have always believed that you don’t have to be gay to be queer.  Queer is the  free expression of the creativity unfettered by any sexual norms. If you embrace the little boy/girl that lurks inside in each of us, even though the sexes or genders might be interchangeable or transformational – than that divine, delightful expression can be queer.

The multi-venue exhibition I am  working on called  “Round Hole, Square Peg 2”, is a juried international exhibition and first queer/LGBT show ever staged at Photo LA.  “Round Hole, Square Peg 2” is an on-going search for new LGBTQ visual archetypes.  Thirty emerging and mid-career artists selected from an international competition will be presented in the Artists Corner booth at Photo LA.  An invitational, curated Wall of Fame featuring current top photographers will form a special part of the exhibition. Now in its 25th year, Photo LA – from January 21-January 24, 2016 – is one of the longest-running fine art fairs in the USA.

After Photo LA, the exhibition will open at the Artists Corner Gallery in Hollywood, California on Saturday, February 6, 2016 from 7-10 PM. The gallery’s opening night reception will be a fundraising auction-party for The Trevor Project: the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to (LGBTQ) young people. Tickets are $40 and will be obtainable through Eventbright. Celebrity-driven art works on auction will be available for viewing and bidding at handbid.com. Auction winners will be notified by phone and e-mail.  Sponsors of “Round Hole Square Peg 2” include Artillery Magazine, Fabrik Magazine, The Tom of Finland Foundation and West Hollywood Lifestyle Magazine.  Later in 2016, “Round Hole Square Peg 2”, will be on display at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Advocate & Gochis Galleries for a five-week exhibition.

Some of the early photographic entries accompany this article. So many wonderful  people are helping to put this project together; coordinating  it all has been a rare, exhilarating and thoroughly trans formative experience for me.  The six national judges who will see all the work  are  Paul Bridgewater (New York), Bert Green (Chicago), Jonathan D. Katz (New York), Valda Lake (Los Angeles), Rick Perez (San Francisco) and myself.

What is Queer Photography?  Help us tell our story. Have your work exhibited as part of “Round Hole Square Peg 2” at Photo LA 2016.  Read more about the judges and get complete information and submission guidelines.  Visit: www.artistscorner.us/roundholesquarepeg/

– Phil Tarley, The Critical Eye

About Fabrik

Fabrik as media platform connects and profiles influential and visionary innovators, features contemporary artists, distinctive galleries, trendsetting designers, discerning architects, and showcases emerging artists.

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Fabrik as media platform connects and profiles influential and visionary innovators, features contemporary artists, distinctive galleries, trendsetting designers, discerning architects, and showcases emerging artists.
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