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June 19 to July 18, 2015

The Gay Mafia is Real | images

Anthea Black
Elijah Burgher
Edie Fake

Miller & Shellabarger
Dutes Miller
Michael Peirson
Ryan M Pfeiffer + Rebecca Walz
Steve Reinke 
Rosé
Stan Shellabarger

Exhibition essay by David Getsy (download PDF)
Performance by Rosé at 8pm on Friday, June 19


For the The Gay Mafia is Real, gallery owner and straight bear Scott Speh has invited LGBTQ artists on Western Exhibitions' roster to exhibit their own works alongside artists of their choosing. This group show will be presented in Western Exhibition's Gallery 2, alongside Edie Fake's solo show in Gallery 1, both opening during Chicago's Pride weekend. Art historian David Getsy will contribute an essay to the exhibition expanding on an interview in Chicago Magazine (1) published around the time of the 2014 Whitney Biennial, in which he was asked if a Gay Mafia exists in the art world. Both shows open with a public reception on Friday, June 19 from 5 to 8pm, and will run through July 18, 2015. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm.

Coinciding with Chicago Pride, this game of curatorial tag puts into play the elective affinities and voluntary affiliations amongst artists whose gender and sexuality inform their work, explicitly or in less obvious ways. Although money and media often get credited as the glue of the art world, the contention of this show is that friendship and intellectual (and sometimes sexual) intercourse provides another framework for thinking about how art actually gets made. If the project room were twice as big, the show would map an even larger branching star of friends and lovers hot on the heels of a sexed up, gregarious, sometimes drunk and combative art. The Gay Mafia is not actually real. What does exist, however, are overlapping social worlds of artists, queer identified or not, having heated conversations with one another that eventuate in pictures, objects, actions and essays.

At 8pm on Friday, June 19, immediately after the opening reception, Rosé will present The Ar(i)es Meditations, a process performance on the ruminations of masculinity and its natural transmutation against itself. Involving sculpture, sound, movement, and text the performance melds the essence and structures of tribunals, binding together the artist and public to forge a catalyst for change.

(1) Source: Chicago Magazine, Foumberg, Jason. "Is There a Gay Mafia in the Art World?" March 27, 2014



Rosé performance still, photograph by Armando Lozano

 

Elijah Burgher invites Ryan M Pfeiffer + Rebecca Walz

Edie Fake invites Rosé

Dutes Miller
invites Michael Pierson

Miller & Shellabarger
invite Anthea Black

Stan Shellabarger invites Steve Reinke 

 

 


 
ALL IMAGES © WESTERN EXHIBITIONS & EACH INDIVIDUAL ARTIST