Inspired by artist Dorian Wood's song of the same name, PAISA is an immersive fever dream that celebrates the beauty of queer brown sensuality, body positivity and individuality. Says Dorian: "We have been marginalized and painted into tight corners for far too long. But even in our darkest times, we make room to celebrate ourselves and others within our communities. With PAISA, I wanted to create a permanent reminder for us queer, trans and non-binary folks of color that our beauty stretches within and far beyond our times, in either direction. We embrace individuality and respect, even when the rest of the world struggles with these 'radical' concepts. We exist and we don't need for the rest of the world to get wise to our existence. We are sensual beings, in all forms and flavors. Even the sexual moments we share with those on the 'downlow', we find love and positivity there, and we acknowledge the fact that these secretive moments are taboo because of an oppressive morality that has decimated humans for decades. Sex positivity grounded in mindfulness and consent. We are wiser than this world gives us credit for. We are powerful and plentiful. We are forever."
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprisings, Art after Stonewall, 1969–1989 is a long-awaited and groundbreaking survey that features over 200 works of art and related visual materials exploring the impact of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) liberation movement on visual culture. Presented in two parts—at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art—the exhibition features artworks by openly LGBTQ artists such as Vaginal Davis, Louise Fishman, Nan Goldin, Lyle Ashton Harris, Barbara Hammer, Holly Hughes, Greer Lankton, Robert Mapplethorpe, Catherine Opie, Joan Snyder, and Andy Warhol. On view at the Grey Art Gallery from April 24 through July 20, 2019 and at the Leslie-Lohman Museum from April 24 through July 21, 2019, the exhibition is organized by the Columbus Museum of Art. Art after Stonewall, 1969–1989 is on view through July 20 at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. photographs
Pussy, King of the Pirates unifies 20 non-male artists who engage in and question the physical and conceptual use of the body in form, medium, and identity politics. The works represent a contemporary reclamation of the female figure, the depiction of which has historically been from the heteronormative male perspective. While the latter has both defined and composed the canon of figuration and formalism heretofore, their compositions of female figures are now more vulnerable to criticisms of objectification. Those who do not self-identify with that status quo – whether female, non-binary, queer, or transgender – may be released from a stigmatic history of a specific oppression. The question remains whether or not they are absolved from the act of objectifying, should that be the ultimate desire at all. Pussy, King of the Pirates is on view through September 8th at Maccarone Gallery, 300 South Mission Road, Los Angeles. photographs by Oliver Kupper
MOCA presents Mickalene Thomas "Do I Look Like a Lady?," an exhibition of new and recent work by New York–based artist Mickalene Thomas. For this exhibition, Thomas has created a group of silkscreened portraits to be featured alongside an installation inspired by 1970s domestic interiors, and a two-channel video that weaves together a chorus of black female performers, past and present, including standup comedians Jackie “Moms” Mabley and Wanda Sykes, and pop-culture icons Eartha Kitt and Whitney Houston. An incisive, moving, and at times riotous portrait of the multiplicities of womanhood, Do I Look Like a Lady? builds upon Thomas’s ongoing reconsideration of black female identity, presentation, and representation through a queer lens. Mickalene Thomas "Do I Look Like a Lady?" will be on view from October 16 to February 6, 2017 at MOCA Los Angeles. photographs by Summer Bowie
Who is Dope Saint Jude? For one thing, she is subversive: a self-produced black queer woman from South Africa who is breaking into the cis-male dominated hip hop scene. She is cool: tattoos, leather, glitter on her lips; she has guys on gold chains in her music videos, and next week she is flying to France for the second leg of her tour. She is revolutionary: using hip hop and mad aesthetics as a means to talk about queer visibility, the politics of the brown body, the radical act of self-empowerment. Dope Saint Jude drinks coffee with you, talks about going back to school to legitimize and expand her political consciousness. Days later, you are sharing a joint and dancing at a party for which the theme is “70s DISCO, BLACK EXCELLENCE, and INEVITABLE SHINE.” In essence, Dope Saint Jude resists clean definitions. She is multi-faceted and she expands to include narratives we don’t normally read together. Click here to read more.
The video for Soft Ethnic's "Prints," which exclusively debuts on Autre, relies on a simple set and a variety of characters played by Liam Benzvi to visually represent the construction and variation found throughout the song. Influenced by Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis group, the set pieces were designed and colored to add a playful backdrop and lightness to the scene. This, along with the relative sparseness and consistency of the editing creates a strong visual language that lends itself well to Liam Benzvi's melodic musings. Music video co-directed by Alex Rapine and Jarod Taber. Set design by Marki Becker. Click here to read an interview with Liam Benzvi.
2015 is when the zine went mainstream. Some of our fave artists dabbled in the fine craftsmanship of the stapled chapbook that many people think dates back to the early days of punk, but it actually can be dated all the way back to 1776 when Thomas Paine published his famous pamphlet, Common Sense, which rifled enough feathers for thirteen colonies to declare war and independence from the British. Fancy that. However, the modern zine, which is shorthand for fanzine – not magazine as many believe – was a photocopied, hastily stapled together collection of appropriated imagery and art school angst. In 2015, the zine has held true to its DIY Xerox aesthetic, with a few surprising contributions – and of course some obvious contributors from the likes of one of our favorite photographers working today, Sandy Kim, and from one of our favorite new Los Angeles queer-cult collective, Gurt. Click here to check out ten of our favorite zines that came out in 2015, so far.