My Queer Eye 3 gathers together artistic and sexual adventurers and exotics of every shade, featuring many new talents side by side with artists who have long been famous on the international art scene. In his choice of artists and pictorial exhibits curator Rinaldo Hopf has looked beyond Europe to search out new, unusual forms of expression and kept a special eye open for artists who are young or little known in Germany, who exist outside of the mainstream that is more fashionable and precisely because of that liable more quickly to become boring. He looked for artists, whose pictures both in content and form reveal an individual expression of gay love, desire, sexuality and gay self-awareness. On his quest Hopf made finds in Tel Aviv, Palm Springs and Shanghai, above all though in Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam and New York. The exhibition shows almost all the artists represented in the book and, in fact, several of them created new works especially for the Schwules Museum.
The emphasis of the exhibition is on pornography, digital media, love and spirituality – themes which at first glance would seem to have little in common but which individually or in combination form a crystallization point in the work of many of the artists involved and which seem to meet the needs and the spirit of the time.
Pornography is a perpetual theme which for a long time now since the Sixties has found its way from the backstreet dives into our everyday culture. Examples on show range from surprisingly funny stills taken at Cazzo’s porn film shoots through Martin E. Kautter’s intimate and spontaneous photos of T-room sex; fanciful drawings of boys in acrobatic sexual positions by Hannes Steinert; Henning von Berg’s self-mocking, exaggerated, very Californian pictures; to the radical self portraits of Matthias Herrmann, who exclusively uses his own person as subject matter.
The digital media, making contact with other gays and finding sex through the Internet are in the process of transforming the ways gays socialize all over the world. Instead of meeting in gay groups, bars and in the subculture, the gay world now increasingly makes contact at home on the computer screen. We are consequently witnessing the development of a completely new aesthetic and artistic application. Clarke Jackson of New York can now design an unreal world of Cyber Gyms where what seem to be geeks in glasses seem to defy the laws of Nature. And the Israeli Kai Arama can create distressing tableaux teeming with monstrosities. Downloaded directly from the Internet are the photos from dating services which Boris von Brauchitsch shapes into compositions whose very bulk gives them new meaning.
Love and relationship are the theme of Alexander Schönfeld’s paintings from Freiburg and of the New York photographic artist Bill Travis. Likewise the Russian-American Duo and couple Slava Mogutin und Brian Kenny, whose onsite installation of photographs and drawings is a somewhat wild gay variation of the usually homophobic HipHop scene. The Spaniard Alexis W deals with the end of a great love in his onsite installation and performance Te quiero.
The relatively large number of works with religious and spiritual contents or elements is surprising. For example, themes from the Passion of Christ are combined with sadomasochistic fetishes in the Altar of the Viennese photographer Frank Gassner; in the strongly sexualized Lord’s Supper of Patrick Bartsch from Berlin; in the overwhelmingly cruel comic-style paintings of the German American Oliver Estavillo. Set pieces from Christianity are just as evident in the hyper-realistic photographic work of Anthony Gayton who lives in Vienna as in the series Rough Gods by Michael Alago from New York; in the spiritual-pornographic Cyber Comic of Dirk Lang, The 120 Days of Sodom, produced in collaboration with the Californian photographer Raymond Angeles. Rinaldo Hopf presents a first selection from his water colour frieze Karma, life-size nude portraits of miscellaneous people in front of universal symbols of inspiration.
An exotic and confusingly undefined variation of queer identity speaks to us from the photographic compositions of the American Fred H. Berger, The Art of the Hustle. Martin von Ostrowski depicts an up-to-date, totally Berlin form of queer life with his gaudily painted CSD paintings and Nicholaus Schmidt with the foreign penmanship in his portraits of Turkish queens like Cihangir Guemuestuerkmen from the Kreuzberg disco Gayhane.
Very different forms of concrete painting can be found in the works of the Berliners Georg Weise and Wilfried Laule and equally so in the creations of Peter Schauwecker from Munich.
And, as the cherry on the cake, Ralf König contributes rough sketches from his comic drawings.
Curator: Rinaldo Hopf