Works in the Exhibition and Artists' Statements
Born: Mt. Holly, NJ
Works: Sacramento and San Francisco, CA
"Navy Shirt #1"
found object, cotton
"Plaid Sporty Flowers Fabric"
digitally printed cotton
Growing up as the son of a craft-loving English teacher, I spent many hours pursuing crafts and playing Scrabble. As I grew older, I believed that in order to fit in with my peers, I had to be in the closet about my crafting, eventually stopping my creative activities altogether. My Scrabble playing, however, continued and turned into a life-long love of the study of language intersecting with my current art practice.
In 1996, I signed up for a textiles class, thereby reawakening my dormant artistic side. I am attracted to textiles because textiles are like language both are subtle, yet powerful. Also, both can protect, expose, reveal social position, and show affiliation. I later learned that the words textile and text are derived from the same root, and several of my earlier pieces are focused on this text-textile connection.
My focus has since expanded beyond this literal connection to the multi-layered texts or readings of the cloth. Recent themes that have emerged are the socialization of American men to be violent and conflicting views on sexuality/masculinity. My hope is that upon reading my work, viewers will engage in a dialogue about the confining nature of behavioral norms.
Victor De La Rosa
Born: Oakland, CA
Works: San Francisco, CA
Manly Fabric Project
“Large Washers”, “Small Washers”, “Cardboard Stripe” & “Oculus”
2005 - 2010
jacquard woven textiles
Textiles designed from a decidedly male point of view. In part inspired in response to being a guy involved in textiles yet surrounded with commercial textile products geared toward women. The Manly Fabrics project is a celebration of men’s preferred colors and taste levels.
Some of the direct design inspiration comes from engine gaskets, nuts, bolts, washers, cardboard and other manly things. The fabrics are produced on an industrial power loom.
The project highlights how consumers have aesthetics imposed upon them with choice inherently limited by what manufacturers choose to produce. Evidence of this can be found of this across all categories from home products to cell phones.
Born: Pangasinan, Philippines
Works: Los Angeles, CA
Hand crocheted linen, cotton and hemp and indigo dyed jockstraps
What is an inheritance? Usually they are objects, land, houses, material things that are passed on from one generation to the next. My "Inheritance" is an ongoing project that started 15 years ago. Coming from the Philippines I thought of reviving craft techniques that I had learned such as weaving, woodcarving, and crocheting as part of my conceptual inheritance.
Stepping back in history and moving forward, I thought of mixing and insisting on reciprocation in the many cultures I inhabit. As a Filipino, gay man I take into account my history which is a hybrid of sorts and insistently conflate and tie worlds that are seemingly far apart.
Born: Woodsville, NH
Works: Chicago, IL
Cotton towel, acrylic screen-printing ink, sequins
Cotton towel, acrylic screen-printing ink, sequins, metal studs, Swarovski Crystals.
“The Same is True of Man”
Cotton towel, acrylic screen-printing ink, plastic fringe, metal grommets
Drawing from the material culture of craft, mid-20th Century fiction, athletics, and Lucha Libra (Mexican Wresting), my work is often constructed from synthetic fabrics and mass-produced elements like two-by-fours, chairs, pleather, sequins and hand towels. Through a process of massing these components together I assert the power of the embellishment as a strategy of what art-historian Jose Esteban Munoz calls, “disidentification”. Munoz writes that, “Disidentification is about recycling and rethinking encoded meaning. The process of disidentification scrambles and reconstructs the encoded meaning of a cultural text in a fashion that both exposes the encoded message’s universalizing and exclusionary machinations.”
In my recent work I look at a boxer’s sweaty towels and bring them into a new constructed arena of violence and pleasure. Here the embellished and stylized indicators of physical actions become objects of wonder and desire. Disembodied and amassed with materials often considered decorative the area of athletics is transformed into a sexualized and non-competitive space of libidinousness.
Kris Grey/Justin Credible
Born: Cooperstown, NY
Works: Athens, OH/Baltimore, MD
"Triptych; Bottoms Up, Rose Bud, Woody"
porcelain, glaze, decals
butt plug rattles in service, microwave and dishwasher safe.
Items of function, implied or otherwise. Microwave and dishwasher safe.
Born: Durango, CO
Works: Brooklyn, NY & Seattle, WA
(American Nostalgia #5: Hamburger)
(Man Stuff #1) Hammer
72" x 84"
This was the first pieces in the “Man Stuff” series. I wanted to call to mind Gustave Caillebotte’s painting, "The Floor Scrapers," with the perspective and the diagonal visual movement towards the lower right. This series is a testament to my place in the art world as a male making art with a process that has been dominated by women primarily as utility. I wanted to show a "Man" item in a way that illustrates the use of fabric and light and stitching as notations of an art piece.
John Thomas Paradiso
Born: Albany, New York
Works: Washington, DC
“Tulips and Pansy's”
Hand Quilted cotton, ink jet photo on fabric, uv inhibitor varnish, on wood panel.
Ink jet print on paper, acrylic, machine-sewn detail, uv inhibitor varnish on wood
My art is an on-going exploration of gay male identity and the intimacy between men. The work is a statement about my experience navigating a sex-positive lifestyle among existing sex-negative messages.
The pieces presented in this exhibit represent two series of work that I have been creating over the past several years. They combine images of men and masculinity with working methods that are considered traditionally feminine, such as sewing and hand quilting.
Sam Lopes & Erik Scollon
Acrylic, Pencil, Carbon Paper and Guache on Panel
Sam Lopes & Erik Scollon
"Gnar Dog and Gruffy Get Together for Tea"
Porcelain with cobalt decoration
Courtesy of the artists and Romer Young Gallery
Born: Methuen, MA
Works: Oakland, CA
Samuel Lopes has been working on a series of landscapes depicting ways that the American economy and climate change manifests itself visually in our everyay lives. Our sense of future is dominated by unsurrmountable student loan debt, escalating morgage costs and not enough jobs. I am interested in looking at the gender expectations around American domestic Architecture and dismantling the codes we read within simple aversions to the well-kept house. What does it mean that part of the house has been left to decay and fall into the creek? Is the "man" of the house unfit to make repairs, financially or physically? Where is "he"?
Born: Rochester, MI
Works: Oakland, CA
These collaborative works represent an extended conversation between Sam Lopes and Erik Scollon. During several Saturdays in the Fall of 2009, they collected a bunch of porcelain blanks, some glaze, cobalt, and a stack of magazines aimed toward gay men. They drew, talked, passed magazines back and forth, and drew some more. In the process they built up images and stories across the different vessels. As does happen in conversations between friends, they picked up topics, explored them, set them aside for something else, and sometimes revisited them later. It was a call and response process, where one would draw something, the other would add to it, and eventually in the back and forth, they completed a series of porcelain objects and rounded out their conversation.
Jeremy Chase Sanders
Born: WIlmington, NC
Works San Francisco, CA.
four hand woven cotton placemats, four hand woven cotton/linen napkins.
Placemats: "USAmerica, India, Uzbekistan, Brazil."
Napkins: "Trade, Pakoli, Besoqolbozlik, Viadu."
Each of the placemats is named for the four largest manufacturers of cotton.The corresponding napkins are named slang words for gay men in those countries.
Cotton cloth is the mark of an industrialized society; it is synonymous with home, domesticity, plainness, and the body. Pairing gay male identity with cotton in a conventional arrangement highlights the relative unease of gay relationships within global society, their participation in commerce, family, and domestic life.
Synesthesia causes me to see a particular color associated with every number and letter of the alphabet. I match threads to the colors I see in words then weave fabrics containing coded text by pairing words with specific forms. I elucidate the subtle hierarchies at work in language and cloth on our bodies and in the spaces we inhabit.