48 x 60 x 1.5 in
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
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In my painting “Wächter” (a loose translation of “guardians” in German—a nod to my inspiration from German Expressionism), I portray a topic that is seldom treated through visual art: the parenting of male same-sex couples. In the short history of LGBTQ art, artists tend to focus primarily on sexuality or negative emotions (usually relating to the AIDS epidemic). As a gay millenial, I want to shift the focus away from the past and towards a new reality for many gay men.
With marriage equality legalized only a couple of years ago, the average life of the gay man has changed quite drastically considering their ability to partake in institutions previously resigned to heterosexuals.. Many gay couples (even before the legalization of marriage) have been slowly coming out with a desire to become parents—not a typical choice one would expect from a group that otherwise has no physical possibilities or societal expectations to do so. I can not only relate to this notion on a personal level, but am also mesmerized by this phenomenon in a psychological sense.
By portraying these figures as simple mammals in nature instead of civilized men in a modern setting, I focus on the innocence and primal desire to parent and protect our young. “Wächter” emphasizes the naturalness of parenting in contrast with being forced by society’s expectations. Parenting is no longer a desire that solely relates to straight society.