Three Houston-based artists have teamed up for a new multimedia exhibit at Avis Frank that explores contemporary gay culture through abstract, homoerotic vignettes that blend reportage, performance and fantasy.
Devon Britt-Darby, Tim Gonzalez, and Alexandre Rosa examine contradictions of so-called "post-gay" culture through photographs, paintings and drawings that blur the lines between reality and fiction, abstraction and representation, and pornography and art.
"This is the trans ition period between marginalization and acceptance; the time when gay icons and symbols become assimilated and processed by the mainstream media," says Rosa.
"The term ‘post-gay culture’ has been thrown around at least since the mid-2000s," Britt-Darby explains in a recent email exchange with the artists.
"Writers like Andrew Sullivan, who wrote a 2005 essay called 'The End of Gay Culture,' argue that the rapid advances toward LGBT equality are undermining the need for gay institutions and subcultures that grew out of oppression and stereotypes imposed by straight people."
Rosa notes that the dialogue surrounding the extent to which gay institutions have or have not been undermined is ultimately positive for the gay community as a whole.
"Some LGBT folks, particularly those more queer-identified, warn against the mainstreaming, hetero-normative impulses behind this movement," he says. "This is the transition period between marginalization and acceptance; the time when gay icons and symbols become assimilated and processed by the mainstream media."
Tim Gonzalez — whose photographs are inspired by the likes of Nan Goldin, William Eggleston and Larry Clarke — uses his work to examine to the conversation, whether through the commercialization of gay culture, documenting its various subcultures, and recognizing the political issues that rise to the surface within post-gay culture.
“There has always been the intention of normalizing and acclimating itself to mainstream society," he says. "I feel that we do this to all cultures or minorities that have been oppressed and tend to filter them down into the commercial outlet or flow of the mainstream media."