Friday, June 18, 2010

Gay Lives Unfiltered

Brooklyn, N.Y.-based artist Patricia Cronin's sculpture, Memorial to a Marriage, is in the cemetery plot for her and her partner. Cronin says: “I thought if all we get are wills, health care proxies and power-of-attorney documents to try to simulate some of the protections of marriage — which doesn’t really work — it’s not about our life together. So if all I get afforded legally is death, I thought I’d make it really elegant and dignified.”

A classic 1990 photo-text collage by the late David Wojnarowicz, presents a snapshot of the artist as a child in the 1950s, surrounded by text that grimly outlines the abuse and discrimination the boy will endure at the hands of his family, church, gay bashers, the medical establishment and the government. Countless gay men have lived that story, and Wojnarowicz’s telling seethes with a fury that could peel paint. Two years after he made that piece, he died of AIDS-related complications at 37.

AIDS also informs Daniel Goldstein’s sculptures. Medicine Man, which seems to straddle the line between despair about lives lost and hope for longevity, is a totemlike figure made of hundreds of empty medication bottles and dozens of syringes donated by HIV patients, forming a new whole out of the lives of many.

The above photos and text were excerpted from Douglas Britt's article: Gay Identity, Unfiltered.

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