Julie Mehretu – Painter
“I don’t think of architectural language as a metaphor about space, but about spaces of power, about ideas of power”.
Mehretu is an established and internationally recognised contemporary artist.
As a lesbian, she has spoken out in support of the LGBTQIA+ community, becoming a symbol of emancipation and courage.
Her canvases reinterpret abstract art for the new generation: the lines are not distributed statically, but rather use space to move freely.
Julie Mehretu‘s painting alludes to a new paradigm of movement, to externalise a perspective-retrospective of the outside world, observing it in all its chaotic movement, fragmentation and ruin.
Laura Aguilar – Photographer
“In my shots there are the realities that society has always tried to hide”
Laura Aguilar was a Latin American photographer and activist, who first immortalised lesbian, queer, trans and overweight women: social groups usually invisible in the works of official culture.
Aguilar’s work is intimate and touching: her shots of opulent bodies, naked and contextualised in naturalistic settings, reflect reality without embellishment, imperfect and authentic, just as it is.
She has always wanted to convey a latent rejection of the canons of beauty of the modern era, representing the human experience in a compassionate way, through the visual stories of people who remain on the margins: victims of body shaming, racial or social discrimination.
The landscape of art has been slow to discover and address the decades-long interdisciplinary field of transgender studies. Compared to other cultural expressions such as literature, film or theatre, the visual arts have only ever ‘touched upon’ the topic of gender minorities.
For example The Art Journal, considered one of the most authoritative magazines in the art world. Exhibitions, relevant events, articles and news: it’s all in the pages of this semi-annual, founded in 1941.
It gives one pause for thought that from the year of its foundation until March 2021 – the term ‘transgender’ has appeared in only thirty six articles or reviews, with three instances of ‘non-binary’ and five of ‘transsexual’; while ‘queer’ appears 135 times.
The reluctance of art history to deal with Queer stories and topics is not due to a lack of artists: contemporary artists have made work that shapes the politics and emotions of the transgender, non-binary and intersex experience in exciting ways.
They are at the forefront of trans visibility and their work has most often been discussed in other fields such as performance studies.
WORDS: Manuela Palma