Image above: ©Jessica Yatrofsky, Rachel, from the series I Heart Girl, 2012 / Courtesy of Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
Curated by Peter Weiermair
[New York, NY – October 2015] - Using human beauty, desire, Eros, and sexuality, this new photography based exhibition reveals that cultural differences, whether defined by national borders, sexual orientation, or gender identification, can be simultaneously vast yet familiar. Regardless of one’s sexual orientation or country of origin, feelings of desire, when successfully represented, can serve to minimize our differences and bring us closer. By using the theme “desire,” this exhibition draws together the work of fourteen contemporary artists from China, Japan, Greece, Russia, Italy, Germany, Great Britain, and the U.S., as expressed through the medium of photography and video.
Image above: © Dimitris Yeros, With His Thoughts on Bulgaria, 2015 / Courtesy of Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
“In looking at these works,” says curator Peter Weiermair, “we see the expression of desire between those depicted in the images. Then, in other works we see the desire between the artists and their subjects. In many instances, as we witness this desire, it evokes our own feelings, regardless of our individual perspective.”
“Peter has brought us a thoughtful exhibition which depicts desire on the most human level. The work presented varies greatly in style, and ranges from documentation to elaborately staged photo shoots,” says Museum Director Hunter O’Hanian. “He presents us with work by artists who have established careers such as Catherine Opie and Greg Gorman as well as work by younger emerging artists. Because of the international element to the exhibition, this will be the first time some of the artists have shown in the United States.”
Image above: © Anthony Gayton, The Collector, 2009 / Courtesy of Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
The fourteen artists in the exhibition include:
Anthony Gayton: Great Britain. Many of his images are homages to his favorite artists such as Caravaggio, Cocteau and von Gloeden. His work ranges from fantasy mythologies to animal-like princes.
Greg Gorman: United States. Famed portrait photographer who presents nudes in a discriminating and unique style.
Alexander Kargaltsev: Russia. This Russian born artist has worked to document other Russian gay men who received asylum in the U.S. due to their sexual orientation.
Tomoko Kikuchi: Japan. Her work confronts a shift in attitudes toward sexuality in China, which Kikuchi says is more open now than it was in 2005, when she began. Her work attempts to illustrate movement from what she calls a “dark time” toward the personal freedom she sees today.
Rolf Koppel/Will Light Johnson: United States. A classicist and an eccentric, Koppel is also both a romantic and a symbolist. His muse and partner, Will Johnson, no simple Narcissus figure in ever-changing guises, collaborates with Koppel on the work.
Joseph Maida: United States. This New Yorker offers lusty, multiracial, tattooed and gender-fluid models set in Hawaiian landscapes that can be either lush or austere.
Matthew Morrocco: United States. His work examines the tension between sexuality and intimacy and engages heavily with themes of history, aging, sexuality and isolation.
Ohm Phanphiroj: Thailand. He uses light and natural settings, often urban, to depict desire.
Hang Ren: China. An artist who seeks to show the human form in a country that often censors artists’ work. He reveals the secret world of young male gay men in China.
Paolo Ravalico Scerri: Italy. His work depicts the expression of unfulfilled desires.
Daniel M. Schmude: Germany. A series of monochromatic photographs that document the emotional connection that often transpires between intimate relations with men of different races.
Jessica Yatrofsky: United States. Known for her film and photographic work with androgynous subjects. Her artwork includes live performances and films that explore beauty, sexual politics, and perception.
Dimitris Yeros: Greece. For more than 30 years, Yeros has explored the beauty of the human form in connection with the natural world, often using members of his own community for models and subjects.
Medium of Desire opens to the public on December 18, 2015 and runs through March 16, 2016. Docent tours will be offered during the run of the exhibition with a full schedule to be posted on the Museum’s website. (LeslieLohman.org)
Image above: © Matthew Morrocco, Self-Portrait with Scott, 2012 / Courtesy of Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
About Peter Weiermair
Peter Weiermair studied art history, German literature and philosophy in Innsbruck and Vienna. Among other things, in 1968 he founded the "Forum of Contemporary Art" in Innsbruck, which he directed until 1979.
From 1980 to 1998, Weiermair was director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein, a major exhibition center for contemporary art and organizes events to promote contemporary art and artists. From 1998-2001 Weiermair was director of the Salzburg Rupertinum, the renowned home for national and international exhibition projects for classical modernism, contemporary art and contemporary art in Salzburg, Austria. It has more than 12,000 prints, paintings and sculptures and over 15,000 works of photographic art.
From 2001 to 2007 he was director of the "Galleria d'Arte Moderna" in Bologna (Italy). From 2007 to 2011 Weiermair curated the annual exhibition of the Frankfurt guest artists in Atelier Frankfurt in Frankfurt am Main.
As a former president of the "International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art" (ICT), Weiermair has numerous contacts with many of the prestigious collections in Europe. In 1998 he was awarded the Goethe Medal of the City of Frankfurt am Main.
Weiermair presently is a freelance curator in Innsbruck (Austria) and serves on the Board of Directors of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.
About the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is the first and only dedicated gay and lesbian art museum in the world with a mission to exhibit and preserve gay and lesbian art, and foster the artists who create it. The Museum has a collection of over 24,000 objects, 6-8 major exhibitions annually, artist talks, film screenings, readings, THE ARCHIVE - a quarterly art newsletter, a membership program, and a research library. The Leslie-Lohman Museum is operated by the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Inc., a non-profit founded in 1987 by Charles W. Leslie and Fritz Lohman, who have supported gay and lesbian artists for over 30 years. The Leslie-Lohman Museum embraces the rich creative history of the gay and lesbian art community by educating, informing, inspiring, entertaining, and challenging all who enter its doors.
Image above: © Tomoko Kikuchi, Lala, Zhangjie, Pandra, Sichuan province 2011, 2014, / Courtesy of Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
The Museum is located at 26 Wooster Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. Admission is free, and hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 12-6 pm, and Thursday, 12-8 pm. The Museum is closed Monday and all major holidays. The Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization and is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code. The Museum can be reached at 212-431-2609. For more information, go to LeslieLohman.org.