featured gallery for February 2012

This Belongs To Us

It has taken me a long time to write this -- like months. I kept thinking, "Who the hell am I to write about art? I'm a fashion person."

But then I argued with myself, "True, but you are also an artist, and you love drawing, and, more importantly, you're 60 and you lost some of your dearest friends and pretty much all your peers through HIV/AIDS ..."

"I have earned my seat at this table."

So with that conversation out of the way, I can now dive into the work I selected. I'm overwhelmed at the talent from which I made this selection. As I looked through the archive so many memories came rushing at me. Maybe this is why it's taken so long to curate this Web gallery. It's incredibly painful to relive this amount of loss. This is my generation. I get the references, the styles. But now the work is everyone's generation, it belongs to all of us. That's part of the great beauty of art.

I selected all portraits; as an artist who works in portraiture, I find them so compelling. A portrait exposes so much. The sitter is revealed, the artist reveals much about himself, and a moment is captured. It gives not only a sense of the people, but also the time, where they lived, what people expected of a portrait, how did things look then.

I stop and think of the amount of creativity present in the work -- all these images hold so much strength, and still resonate now. The artists share themselves with us -- who they wanted to be, who they insist on being, vibrant, relevant, and remembered. The physical power of David Abbott's Mike, the electric charge of voyeurism in Nelson Edwin Rodriguez's Untitled (Self Portrait), and the chic of Eric Molnar's Social Studies.

I have no idea about my mortality, when it will happen, or how. But I hope people will find in my work what I have found here: a narrative, a relevance beyond the artist's time, passion, humor, depth, courage and a bid at immortality, a way to say "I was here, and I want you to know that."