Visual AIDS is excited to announce Adam Barbu, Dylan Huw, Eduardo Carrera, María José Maldonado, Megan N. Liberty, and Ruby Sutton as our 2023 Research Fellows. Each fellow will work with Visual AIDS to research and write about artists who have been lost to AIDS, drawing on primary sources in the Visual AIDS Archive and related resources. The scope of the fellowship has expanded this year to include research projects on artists who are not currently represented in the Visual AIDS Archive and Registry. Writing commissioned through the fellowship will be published later this fall.

Square 3x2 fellows updated
From top left: Adam Barbu, Dylan Huw, Eduardo Carrera, María José Maldonado, Megan N. Liberty, and Ruby Sutton

Adam Barbu will revisit the multifaceted artistic practice of Hunter Reynolds (1959–2022) with a specific focus on the archival and sculptural implications of the “photo-weaving” works. Engaging with questions of dreaming, healing, and self-invention, this research will also consider Reynolds’ use of the bedframe as an installation strategy.

Dylan Huw will conduct research into the rich body of work of Ed Aulerich-Sugai (1950-1994) across representational painting, drawing and writing. Aulerich-Sugai has been most associated with the poet and novelist Robert Glück, as a former lover and recurring subject of his writing — including the forthcoming About Ed (NYRB Books) — but the vividness and imagination of his own work, particularly his startling visual representations of living with AIDS, have been under-examined in scholarly, critical and institutional contexts.

Eduardo Carrera will investigate the archive and artistic oeuvre of George Febres (1943-1996) from a queer lens, authoring the text "Getting the George Febres We Deserve." Carrera draws on Douglas Crimp's essay, "Getting the Warhol We Deserve," which explores how art historians have desexualized Warhol's artwork. By borrowing the title of Crimp's article, Carrera aims to question prevailing interpretations of Febres' art as discreet regarding his sexuality and argues for a reevaluation that acknowledges and embraces the queer aspects of Febres' artistic and curatorial practice.

María José Maldonado will research her late aunt Bianca “Exotica” Maldonado, who was a trans starlet in ‘90s New York City watched by millions on numerous '90s talk shows like Jenny Jones, Phil Donahue, Howard Stern, The Joan Rivers Show and Cristina on Univision. She is also immortalized on the album cover of Blood Orange's Coastal Grooves, in a legendary photo taken by Brian Lantelme in front of Sally's Hideaway in 1996.

Megan N. Liberty will research the life and work of book artist Reginald Walker (1946–1988), who revived African bookmaking traditions in the 1970s, synthesizing avant-garde artists’ books with a non-Western methodology. Liberty will use Walker’s existing papers and conduct new oral histories with his friends and colleagues to illustrate his relevance to the history of artists’ books and craft.

Ruby Sutton is researching the Argentine expressionist painter Luis Frangella (1944–1990) and his influence on the artistic communities in the East Village and Buenos Aires in the 1980s. She is working with his letters and diaries.

About the Fellows

Adam Barbu is a writer, curator, and educator based in Ottawa, Canada. They hold M.A. in Art History from the University of Toronto and currently work as a curatorial research resident at the University of Ottawa. A recipient of the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators, Barbu has produced numerous group exhibitions foregrounding AIDS cultural histories, including The Queer Feeling of Tomorrow (2015), Empty History (2019) and Words Unsaid (2023). Their recent writings have appeared in publications such as OnCurating, Peripheral Review, and Esse art + opinions. Barbu lectures on queer theory and trans studies locally, nationally, and internationally.

Dylan Huw is a writer and curator living in Cardiff, Wales. He writes widely about contemporary art and visual culture, usually with a focus on queer and documentary practices, for publications including Artforum, e-flux, Frieze and O’r Pedwar Gwynt. In his independent curatorial practice, he develops dialogic, research-led projects with artists working across disciplines and languages, which might take shape as public assemblies, residencies or publications. He has an M.A. in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London, and is an Associate of the situated arts organisation Peak Cymru.

Eduardo Carrera is a Ph.D. scholar in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania, and he attended the Independent Studies Program PEI at MACBA. His expertise lies in contemporary and modern art, focusing on decolonial and queer approaches to curatorial practices and museums. He has extensive experience collaborating with international institutions, including Ecuador, Spain, Brazil, Italy, Peru, Argentina, and the United States. He served as curator and director at CAC Quito from 2017 to 2022. Eduardo's essays have been featured in catalogs and magazines such as Artpress, Phaidon Press, L'internationale, Artishock, and Terremoto. Currently, his research is centered on the work and archive of Ecuadorian-American artist George Febres.

María José Maldonado is a queer Salvadoran-Ecuadorian artist born & raised in Queens, NY. Her work celebrates queer & trans Latine/x people. She’s 37, looks 23 & loves to Instagram: @saymariajose. Her docushort “My Fierce Aunt Bianca” premiered at Inside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival 2023. María José’s a proud alum of: BRIC Documentary Intensive Film Lab 2022, Toronto Queer Film Festival DIY Film Lab 2020, Lambda Literary Speculative Fiction Fellow 2022, Sandra Cisneros’s Macondo Writers Workshop Fiction Fellow 2021, Leslie-Lohman Museum Artist Fellow 2020, Barbara Deming Fund 2020 feminist fiction grantee & Queer|Art Mentorship Literature Fellow 2019 mentored by Charles Rice-González.

Megan N. Liberty writes about artists’ books, ephemera, and archives. She is the Art Books section editor at the Brooklyn Rail and co-founder of Book Art Review. Her writing appears in Artforum, art-agenda, ArtReview, Art in America, Brooklyn Rail, Frieze, Hyperallergic, and elsewhere. She lectures about artists’ books widely at conferences and in classrooms. In 2023, she curated a historical exhibition of artists’ books, Craft & Conceptual Art: Reshaping the Legacy of Artists’ Books, at Center for Book Arts, which traveled to San Francisco Center for the Book and Minnesota Center for Book Arts. She was a 2019-20 AICA/USA and Creative Capital/The Andy Warhol Foundation’s Arts Writing Workshop participant. She has an M.A. in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and a B.A. in English from Dickinson College, PA.

Ruby Sutton is a writer. Her work appears in T, Hobart Pulp, and Astra Magazine. You can support her work on Substack.

Hunter By Alyssa De Luccia 2014

Hunter Reynolds

Ed Painting 15Bca06Bb121567 75532115

Ed Aulerich-Sugai

Walker snapshot 01

Reginald Walker

Lf 1

Luis Frangella