Creating Queer Communities Through Art

Published: February 25, 2013

Sitting in an intimate audience at the LGBT Community Center on a recent Tuesday night, I observed an unexpectedly inspirational conversation: three queer artists with different practices revealed their use of art as a means to construct a community, counter invisibility, and declare acceptance of their bodies in a Visual AIDS–organized panel titled Positive Assertions.

Planned in conjunction with Visual AIDS Print + Editions’ Play Smart campaign, which merges art with harm prevention via condoms, lube, and artist-created photographic trading cards, Positive Assertions brought together a group of artists who all use the body to create a dialogue both within and outside the queer community.

Focusing on the statement “Love your body, love every body, love any body,” the panel, which was moderated by Art Matters Director Sasha Yanow, consisted of Jessica Whitbread, a Toronto-based artist and activist; Amos Mac, a photographer and publisher of Original Plumbing magazine; and Ivan Monforte, a Mexican-born, Los Angeles–raised artist who also works in social marketing for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC).

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