Liz Under, Mudo, 2016
Liz Under, Mudo, 2016

Always Gay: Girls in Blue and Boys in Pink conceptually and artistically addresses the resistance of young artists in the face of situations of hatred, discrimination and erasure. Organized by Transarte, a gallery dedicated to LGBTQ-themed projects and transgressive art, the exhibition brings together Liz Under, Bia Leite, Eduardo Mafea and Pedro Stephan, with works of pure militancy.

Contemporary art has developed a strategy of approaching everyday life. The narrative of all of them does not separate art from life, and the password for survival is to remain on permanent alert in the face of a violent society for gays, women, blacks, indigenous people and the poor. The works are born spontaneously, without worrying about the invoice, and most of them reflect situations experienced. Liz Under, 24, opens the exhibition with photos of a performance with red sheets with vaginal slits, held in her studio in Salvador, where she lived and worked. The essay carried out by her places the spectator as voyeur of a sensual immersion. Liz lives in Araraquara and in the three years she spent in Salvador she studied and started in art making graffiti on the streets and lambe-lambe posters. It was there that she first experienced the challenge of making transgressive art. “Even inside the Museum of Modern Art, where I took a lithography course, I did not escape an oppressive society”. His aversion to the sexist world inspired a cartoon with the image of a cat with a penis in its mouth, which angered his classmates. “They started to treat me badly, calling the cat Miserable. The pressure was such that I even dressed as a man to be able to impose myself in that sexist and discriminatory environment”. Liz also suffered from the engravings of her walled muses. “In the history of art men paint naked women for male delight and I put my muses on paper in the search for the construction of their own pleasure, of their own affection”. When Liz exhibited these works at the 5th Bienal de Gravura Lívio Abramo, in Araraquara, she was morally assaulted by a local journalist, known by her surname, Madalena. “Revolted, he offended me and classified my work as 'bitch art'. I loved the name, I didn’t even have to think of another title, I kept his.” She recalls that today in Brazil we have the legitimation of violence that comes from those in power. The artist talks about a necropolitics installed with social and political power to decide who lives and who dies. “Preferred targets are LGBTQ people, people of color and the poor.”

Bia Beite, Naoparanao series
Bia Beite, Naoparanao series

Just as Liz's work is considered socially inappropriate by a conservative class, Bia Leite's work also provokes insults. She made the news pages when her painting Child Fag was censored in the exhibition Queermuseu at the Santander Cultural Center in Porto Alegre. Under protests from some visitors, the exhibition was closed and she was persecuted and threatened with death. The exhibition was only released after the creation of a fundraising program promoted by Parque Lage, in Rio de Janeiro, where the exhibition was exhibited with Homeric lines. The painting that horrified the gauchos shows several prejudiced insults suffered by homosexuals since childhood. Bia was discovered and awarded by the Transarte LGBT Edital in 2015 and has now just signed an exclusive contract with the gallery, where she exhibits in this exhibition paintings inspired by aliens and a Japanese horror movie poster, by director John Carpenter. Her painting recalls the neo-expressionist traits of the 80s, with corrosive colors and quotes from the pop universe.

Also under expressionist influence, Eduardo Mafea defends his work as a dive into the dualism of the gay man and the compulsory connection to the macho universe of football, a sport appreciated by families as a symbol of virility. With other concerns, Pedro Stephan, in love with Rio de Janeiro, author of homoerotic ceilings, shows for the first time the essay Mercury lamps, which can be seen as a non-narrative photonovel with the backdrop of Parque do Flamengo, a carioca place where he has lived since childhood when he used to ride his bike there. The 30 images of the essay show Stephan's friends clicked in 2005 in love scenes. “I tried to subvert the cliché by proving that making out isn't just about slutty, it can also be romance”.

The director of Transarte, Maria Helena Peres writes in one of her catalogs that we need to be attentive to Brazil that has been proposing a gay cure, which closes exhibitions, beats and kills transvestites and creates monsters within the members of the LGBTQ movement.

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