Pride Inspiration Roundup
recommending work by my favorite queer visual artists
Happy Pride! I realized that I haven’t written in any depth about my inspirations since January, so I thought now would be a good time to give y’all another round. Because it’s Pride month, and I’m just generally very inspired my my community, I’m going to stick to queer visual artists this time. What better time than the END of the time you’re supposed to be thinking about us to think about us more? <3 <3 <3
What I love most in the work I’m inspired by is surrealism, references to silly pop culture, grandeur (in a non-pretentious way, mostly), and humor. I feel like all of the artists on this list weave together these themes in unique ways, and all of them have been majorly influential to me and my work as a visual artist. These artists span multiple media, and in most cases, transcend genre and boxes. Some are alive and working today, lucky for us, and some made their mark centuries ago.
Though the label of “queer” can certainly assist in describing my sexuality and gender expression, it feels a little insufficient to assume that’s all it refers to, considering the way it permeates basically every aspect of my life. When I realized that I exist outside of what’s normal (and because I had the privilege to explore what that looked like for me) it made everything else in life feel a bit more malleable. If I don’t have to date who our culture says that I should date, and want the things our culture says I should want, then why would I feel the need to subscribe to other norms? Why should my art fit into one box? Why should my work follow traditions that have been set by people who aren’t me? Who cares! The rules are made up! Suddenly it all just starts to feel very flexible, and the world kind of opened up to me.
That said, all of these artists expand the media they work within, and have encouraged me to expand mine. There are no rules! Here goes…
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