Catherine Lord: Velvetpark award

“The Avant-Garde” – Catherine Lord, Artist / Art Historian


Recently announced: Velvetpark’s Top 25 Queer Women of 2013. According to Velvetpark’s description of the awards: “As with previous years, this is not a hierarchical list. These 25 represent a collection of women viewed on equal footing, each contributing to LGBTIQ visibility in the fields of the arts, activism, academia, and/or social equality. They are female-identified or non-gender binary persons who have created a critical work or whose body of work warranted attention this year.

“This year, Catherine Lord co-authored with Richard Meyer the most comprehensive queer art history book to date, Art and Queer Culture(Phaidon Press). Lord and Meyer have culled through every genre and movement from the late 19th C. to the present, from the neighborhoods of Holbron to Harlem, covering artists from Oscar Wilde to Jasper Johns, from Mickalene Thomas to Wu Tsang. They elucidate how queer lifestyle was/is not only an inspiration but the subject for the artists’ works. This history, as Lord and Meyer, conclude is not an evolution from outsider to assimilation into mainstream society, but a history of the liminal. The book finds queer art and artists existing between the cracks of high and low art, public and private life, between the deviant and the normal. This is work will be one for the college classroom and your bookshelf.
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Welcome to LA by Catherine Opie

Catherine Opie confessed she was never a fan of the posters atLAX showing the mayor welcoming air travelers to Los Angeles, reports today’s LA Timesla-et-cm-eric-garcetti-catherine-opie-lax-2013-001

“I always thought they could have been done better,” the photographer said. Starting Thursday, there will be a new series of airport posters that Opie created featuring Mayor Eric Garcetti shot against famous L.A. backdrops.

“The new photographs will show Garcetti kayaking on the L.A. River and posing alongside such cultural landmarks as the Watts Towers and Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” sculpture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Another will show the mayor at the Hollywood Farmers Market. Speaking in a car on her way to teach a class at UCLA, Opie said Wednesday she conceived the series after helping to organize a fundraiser for Garcetti’s mayoral campaign. “I wanted to do something that had a community component. I pitched it to the mayor and his team and they liked it,” she said.

“The posters at LAX are created by the L.A. Tourism & Convention Board, though Garcetti’s office had led the effort, according to a spokeswoman for the mayor. Ideas for backdrops were solicited online and the most popular request was the L.A. River. Opie recalled she stood in the middle of the river, wearing an old pair of tennis shoes, and instructed the mayor to paddle back and forth as he sat in a kayak. In choosing Watts Towers, she said she “wanted to to celebrate what a great city this is for art. I don’t think enough people go out to Watts Towers.” The photographer is already working with Garcetti on more images in the LAX series. She recently photographed the mayor at the California Science Center, with the space shuttle Endeavor in the background. Continue reading “Welcome to LA by Catherine Opie”

Art and Queer Culture

Recently released with book launches in Los Angeles and New, Art and Queer Culture by Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer is now available. As the authors write:

“Spanning 125 years, Art and Queer Culture is the first major historical survey to consider the ways in which the codes and cultures of homosexuality have provided a creative resource for visual artists. Attempts to trouble the conventions of gender and sexuality, to highlight the performative aspects of identity and to oppose the tyranny of the normal are all woven into the historical fabric of homosexuality and its representation. images-1“From Oscar Wilde to Ryan Trecartin, from the molly houses of eighteenth-century London to the Harlem drag balls of the 1920s, the flamboyant refusal of social and sexual norms has fuelled the creation of queer art and life throughout the modern period.

“Although the book proceeds in a chronological fashion, it does not propose a progressive narrative in which homosexuals become increasingly adept at negotiating the circumstances of censorship and overcoming the terms of stigma and invisibility. The dialogue between art and queer culture does not move towards ever more affirmative images of equality and dignity. Rather than countering homophobia with ‘positive’ images of assimilation, many of the artists and photographers featured in this book draw upon, and even draw out, the deviant force of homosexuality.  Continue reading “Art and Queer Culture”