Just close your eyes and capture the first thing that your mind conjures up. What does gay art look like?
Is it graphic? Does it involve flags and statements? Or is it essentially art produced by gay people? Maybe you visualise it as the depiction of acts that are abominable to you.
If you were to ask me, I’d say gay art does not even exist. Better yet, should not. That’s simply because I am a firm believer of the idea that art is life. That is also to say that it’s practically impossible to define, shape or contain it. To that end, so is gay art all these things. But this perspective of mine, has been challenged by life itself (oh the irony) not long ago.
In the summer of 2015, two Moroccan men were reported to have been persecuted for kissing in public. I remember reading the news and not even being able to process what I’ve read. Think about it (yes, I’m especially meaning you, dear straight people). Just take a second and reimagine that one particular kiss of your life. I’m sure most of us have one. Right after you smack your lips and start singing whatever song in your mind, imagine being dragged off straight to jail and facing a sentence of two years. Yes, just because you kissed.
Anyways, it turns out that same sex relationships are illegal in Morocco and can be punished with imprisonment up to 5 years. Well, that’s life for you. I’m sure you have a guess over where I’m going with this.
Since art IS life. I had no choice, but to depict it: I painted this piece to commemorate those two beautiful souls kissing on the beach. I guess the gay art question I raised in the beginning was a tricky one, after all. Looks like gay art is all those things. Gay art is erotic. It is tragic, beautiful and abominable.
Yes abominable too. Because there is nothing admirable about sending two people off to jail just because they kissed.
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