Thursday, June 29, 2006

Le Roy "King of Art"

Carnivalesque: A Grim Guignol
Focus on LeRoy "King of Art"

LeRoy "King of Art" - Exclamation Points

If you've been following the blog, then you already know that the Carnivalesque exhibit has just one week left. With David Grim's steady vision, Digging Pitt was able to mount an exhibit that included the gamut of visions, dreams and nightmares associated with the Carnival theme.

LeRoy's work stands out as much for his unique installation as for its singular vision. His Exclamation Points examine the sideshow quality of a time in the not-so-distant past at a not-so-distant place of an experience that has become less distant in the intervening years. Can you hear Liberace's piano while Gotham burns? In Exclamation points, LeRoy casts irony in the form of bittersweet nostalgia.

Below are detail shots of Exclamation points as well as a statement by LeRoy "King of Art"

Details from Exclamation Points


LeRoy "King of Art"

Parties during the Gay 90’s were super fun and really fabulous but somebody was always dying. Gay men were dropping faster than their flies. So we dressed the sickies up as Movie Stars, pranced around in women’s clothing and cackled at The Grim Reaper! These photos are a record of Gay men surviving in the early years of the AIDS Crisis. Cupcake, Lovey Poo, Lady Hell, Barbara Merman, Christina Heyworth and Quentin Crisp are a few of the drop dead gorgeous superstars you’ll recognize. Don’t miss the killer devil boiz and fan club porn stars photographed moments before they dropped dead.

Profuse decoration has frequently been associated with “gender bending” it has become a sign of “queerness as used in current academic parlance. (Fox 1) I began decorating profusely in my childhood at Girl Scout Camp, always a superstar in the Pixie tent. I continued decorating during my years in New York City. Magazines! Launch Parties! Night Clubs! Dog Shows! Last week I decorated these exclamation points with some pictures from my Gay 90’s scrap book. I also used polka dots like Yayoi Kusama or Leigh Bowrey would use. Kusama’s polka dots signified the sexual disease of society “red polka dots…like the spots of disease. This is the attitude of the human race toward sex, which is sick.” (Jones 2)

I used obsessive repetitive stapling to attach the dots and photos. The repetitive action of stapling, stapling, stapling is a way to try and hold on to something that is slipping away. The psychedelic head shop day glow colors and op art patterns are nostalgic for utopian attitudes of the 60’s sexual revolution which revolted in the 80’s with AIDS.

1. Fox, Howard. Lari Pittman, LA, CA: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1996.
2. Jones, Leslie C.. Transgressive Feminity: Art and Gender in the Sixties and Seventies, Abject Art Repulsion and Desire in American Art, NYC, The Whitney Museum of American Art, 1993.

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