Art Gets “Gay”

It’s all sorts of gay at Atlantic Works gallery. Literally. On August 9th, the East Boston art space unveils its new show, the simply, explosively entitled “Gay”.

About two dozen artists were given a simple assignment: depict the word “gay”, according to the gallery’s website. And with varying results:

Presentations stretch from a queer riddle of the sphinx, to a lascivious Craigslist montage to an actual closet that urges the viewer to stay huddled inside. The full spectrum of GAY will be shown…

No, “gay” activist Sean Lund didn’t make the cut.

Surprisingly, not all of the artists are gay. In fact, only four qualify as queer – a disproportion the gallery says gives the show “a visionary twist and hetero vantage”. One of the gay artists, Eric Hess, tells Edge Boston the straight spin has already caused some controversy, but not in the way one would expect:

[One] straight artist I have been working with is really learning a lot about how it feels to be gay…one of the group members who is straight experienced homophobia simply getting the show card printed at Kinko’s. It has set up amazing conversations and is just heating up. All of this in gay-marriage-friendly, liberal Massachusetts.

While some are broadening their perspectives, Hess says other townsfolk aren’t as enthusiastic to learn.

One Boston cable show thought coverage of GAY was not suitable to daytime programming simply from hearing the title.

Obviously the word gay isn’t as innocuous as some would think.

(Story image via Eric Hess’ Atlantic Works page.)