featured gallery for November 2006

Hot Chicks and Others

Browsing the slide registry at Visual AIDS is like encountering a playland of lush colors, rich and varied textures, and objects and bodies presented specifically to attract the eye. I selected works that, first, were immediately pleasurable, for their color or form or content. The works by Valerie Caris and Rene Santos both present lovely, feminine forms, each seductively positioned and very much available to the viewer's eye. Sunil Gupta's photograph presents us with a masculine figure seen from behind. While still seductive, this figure remains less approachable, a feeling underscored by the (seeming?) lack of connection between the Christmas tree and nudity. Groups of ladies, or what we are supposed to believe are ladies, wander back and forth through the images -- feathered, adorned, bejeweled, they add layers that question gender and its social construction (wig or ball gown anyone?). I selected objects that make simple (but fierce) statements to begin and end this exhibition. Jimmy DeSana's conceptual work asks us to think about 101 nudes and what that grouping might mean or look like. I've closed with one of my favorite objects in the world -- a disco ball -- referenced in the photograph (a detail from a larger installation titled Drag Queen Spaceship) by Curtis Carman. These two simple works frame a roster of lush images that presents a variety of texts that voice the concerns of contemporary culture. I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to have organized this exhibition.