Gay artist tackles homophobia in black community
As a gay, black, HIV-positive man, Michael Morgan finds solace in his art.
From his painting “In the Garden” that depicts the shame of being gay and resorting to finding sex in Piedmont Park, to his “Jack in the Box” series with dolls caged behind chicken wire to symbolize struggles with drugs, sexuality and poverty, Morgan wants the African-American community to address taboo topics and not hide from them.
“The last eight years I started focusing my work on my environment, things that have affected me for so long. I did a lot of artwork on social commentary, civil rights and the family,” he says.
“Then I turned it around — I wanted to see me projected, my life projected in what I did. So I started focusing on more social commentary on gay life and being black and a minority.”
Morgan’s work is currently on display at the Hammonds House Museum with the works of Daryl Harris, a straight artist who also tackles the social taboos of contemporary African American culture, explains Hammonds House Museum curator Kevin Sipps. The exhibit, “Incendiary Exposure: The Works of Daryl Harris & Michael Morgan,” continues through June 27.
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