A Show of Portraits by Queer Artists of Color Aims to Simultaneously Celebrate Individuality and Shared Identity—See It Here

Naima Green, We lay in a bed of queen anne’s lace and I offer you twenty tons of honeysuckle clover, (2013). Courtesy of the artist.

As galleries around the world begin to slowly reopen, we are spotlighting individual shows worth of your attention. 

Online exhibition benefit through June 30 at TRNK


What the organizers say: “Rather than presenting queerness as a cultural homology or indulging the exotification of black and brown bodies, the photographs by the selected artists take authorship over individual lived experiences while also acknowledging contributions to a representative body politic. The eight participating artists selected include Derrick Woods-Morrow, Dorian Ulises López Macías, Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Guanyu Xu, Naima Green, Nelson Morales, Simone Thompson, and Texas Isaiah.”

What the curator says: “I think every queer and person of color can relate to the tension between community and self explored by this group exhibition,” says the show’s curator Tariq Dixon. “The paradoxical burden, yet privilege of always representing something larger than oneself. The fury over society’s attempt to erase individual experiences, but the fulfillment earned by inspiring others who see themselves in you. Each of these artists interrogates this understanding in their own unique way. The artworks are strong assertions of the artists’ undeniable individuality, but they all join together in celebration of a shared queer identity.”

Derrick Woods-Morrow, Frederick on Lake Pontchartrain. Courtesy of the artist.

Why it’s worth a look: Timed to coincide with Pride month, the presentation doubles as a fundraiser for the Ali Forney Center, the nation’s largest agency assisting LGBTQ+ homeless youth. The New York City-based center provides meals, mental and physical health services, and housing programs for at-risk youth.

The show is organized by Tariq Dixon, the co-founder of TRNK, a home-furnishings studio, who identifies as both queer and a BIPOC. As The Cut points out, the images of black and brown people in lush landscapes, in repose, and in the midst of tender exchanges offer a break from footage of violence and police brutality that have been flooding the internet. Dixon said, “What these artists offer in this moment is nourishment of spirit and soul, and a reminder to celebrate our own power and our own strength. We need that strength in order to keep fighting.”

Each work is available as a limited-edition 20-inch x 30-inch poster ($75 unframed/$250 framed). All proceeds go to the Ali Forney Center.

What it looks like:

Dorian Ulises López Macías, <i>Te Extraño</i>. Courtesy of the artist.

Dorian Ulises López Macías, Te Extraño. Courtesy of the artist.

Dorian Ulises López, <i>de la calle / a la calle...Rafa Esparza's performance for ICA LA</i>. Courtesy of the artist.

Dorian Ulises López, de la calle / a la calle…Rafa Esparza’s performance for ICA LA. Courtesy of the artist.

Nelson Morales, Ticunas. Courtesy of the artist.

Derrick Woods-Morrow, Acts of Boyhood Divination: Water Dancer. Courtesy of the artist.

Texas Isaiah, San Cha (2018). Courtesy of the artist.

Nelson Morales, Self Portrait in Red Skirt. Courtesy of the artist.

Simone Thompson, Schentell. Courtesy of the artist.

Guanyu Xu, Alpha Male. Courtesy of the artist.

Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Breath tucks in and weighs the eyes closed. Beyond that callused layer lies a circular gradient of white, into yellow, into burnt orange and red. A euphoric entrance into day, and yet space becomes obscure and distant in the dark. Suddenly, in the aftermath of that quiet to-do of colors, my body is that only thing I know to be here. “Take your time,” you whisper. Courtesy of the artist.

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