i feel clean
With this series of paintings, I explore the ephemeral qualities of our queer moment. Sometimes queerness seems present, sometimes it feels distant. I am aware and critical of the historical progress and regress of tolerance. I was thinking a lot about the height of the AIDS/HIV pandemic in the 80’s and 90’s, how the U.S government ignored the public's cry for emergency, the government's (NYC) anti-homo and anti-sex laws that permanently altered the ideology of the queer image, and the perception of queer bodies as unsanitary and disease-ridden. The same laws ultimately lead to the Stonewall Riots, of which LGBT2Q+ women and people of colour lead the iconic protests for human rights. I consider this when deciding to use toothpaste as a painting medium, as it makes reference to the cleansing of the queer body, but also a whitening of it too. In our current moment, white gay cis males are often seen as poster boys for the LGBT2Q+ movements, while the experiences and stories of BIPOC are too often left silenced. It is crucial for the progress of visibility in our society to recognize this and make space for other voices, especially those voices who began the fight for our liberation.