Qcc's on-line galleries have been growing organically since we first launched our website in 1998. Our intention is to map Queer art from the perspective of the Bay Area. All of the artists presented in our 6 galleries have either lived in San Francisco, have had a major exhibition here, or have been connected to the Bay Area in an interesting way. These galleries are still growing and we see no end to our work.

Gallery 1 is an eclectic group of nationally recognized artists and writers.


Gay Semiotics (Publication date:1977)

Hal Fischer 's Gay Semiotics appeared in the late 1970s, first as an exhibition and subsequently as a book. Gay Semiotics broke new ground with its candid depiction and categorization of urban gay archetypes, and, simultaneously, offered a new , conceptually based approach to the photographic depiction of gay men. Laced with tongue in cheek humor and a decidedly unromantic use of the photographic image. The text and photo juxtapositions in Gay Semiotics proffered a new direction for gay photography, one based in the mainstream conceptual art of the 70s. Removed from the faux romanticism and obsessive formalism that dominated gay "art" photography, Gay Semiotics became the first work to establish a common point between the dominant or mainstream art trends of the 70s and a burgeoning gay subculture.

Things Are Queer: by Jonathan Weinberg 1996

Jonathan Weinberg's essay was first published in the Art Journal (Winter, 1996 Vol. 55 No. 4) by the College Art Association. It served both as an introduction to the Art Journal's first publication devoted entirely to queer studies, and as an encapsulation of the many issues surfacing in academic circles concerning queer art and history. Weingberg's use of Duane Michals' elegant photographic series "Things Are Queer" creates a beautiful allegory of frames within frames--of fragmentary representations and relative constructions. Qcc is re-framing this essay with the kind permission of the author.


Peter Hujar

Peter Hujar turned his camera on fellow nightcrawlers who inhabited the East Village art scene of the late 70s and 80s. His most famous photograph is possibly, "Candy Darling on Her Deathbed". His now infamous book, titled "Portraits in Life and Death" (1976), chronicles his life and vision. Peter Hujar was a long term partner of artist David Wojnarowicz, who died with AIDS in 1992. Hujar died of AIDS complications in 1987.

Imaging Sadomasochism:
Robert Mapplethorpe and the Masquerade of Photography
by Richard Meyer

Mapplethorpe's work functions on many levels and raises a variety of questions regarding the lexicon of the classic male nude and its ties to sexuality, the role and construction of gender and sexuality in society, the role of form and content in traditional and contemporary art, the communicative aspect of imagery, and censorship issues regarding museum space, tax dollars, and, in a general sense, all imagery.

Read Richard Meyer's essay on S/M and its relation to photography in the work of Robert Mapplethorpe.


Nicole Eisenman (Exhibition date: 1995)
San Francisco Art Institute

In her murals, drawings and paintings, Eisenman displays great technical facility to communicate political messages tinged with strong humor. Influenced by such disparate sources as Michelangelo, Marc Chagall and Norman Rockwell, Eisenman skewers traditional sexual stereotypes and gender roles.

Cathy Opie (b. 1961)

Cathy Opie lives and works in L.A. and is perhaps the leading figure among young queer photographers confronting and exploding the intersection of gender performance and sexuality.

In the late eighties to mid-nineties Opie gained national attention for her large format portraits of dyke daddies, gay male performance transvestities, FTM transexuals, tattooed and scarified gay men and lesbians and other members of a social milieu where sexual identity is most dramatically thrown into question. In a non-confrontational manner, Opie places her subjects clearly and calmly in the center of focus. Her subjects appear to reverse the gaze--outwardly toward the viewer.

David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992)

A passionate writer, artist, activist, David Wojnarowicz infused his life and work with the passion and rage that was the queer community of the late 80's and early 90's.

"...and I wake up every morning in this killing machine called america and I'm carrying this rage like a blood filled egg and there’s a thin line between the inside and the outside a thin line between thought and action and that line is simply made up of blood and muscle and bone and I'm waking up more and more from daydreams of tipping amazonian blowdarts in 'infected blood' and spitting them at the exposed necklines of certain politicians or government healthcare officials or those thinly disguised walking swastikas that wear religious garments over their murerous intentions or those rabid strangers parading against AIDS clinics in the nightly news suburbs---there's a thin line a very thin line between the inside and the outside and I've been looking all my life..." --David Wojnarowicz (an excerpt from a reading)


Keith Haring Outdoor Sculptures in San Francisco
(Exhibition date:1998)

From May to September 1998, ten monumental sculptures by American artist Keith Haring were exhibited in various public locations around San Francisco. Tens of thousands of San Franciscans and tourists enjoyed these colorful sculptures. The large, bright images of barking and dancing dogs, human figures in gymnastic tumbles, and semi-abstracted forms that play with human and animal forms, are all immediately recognizable figures from Keith Haring's vital and energetic iconography. Qcc is pleased to present a virtual tour of this exhibition.


Dorothy Allison

Dorothy Allison is the author of Bastard Out of Carolina, a finalist for the 1992 National Book Award; Cavedweller (Dutton, 1998), a national bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and the memoir Two or Three Things I know for Sure (Dutton, 1995). Her poetry The Women Who Hate Me (1990), short fiction Trash, (1989), and essays Skin: Talking About Sex, Class, and Literature (1995) were published in small press editions by Long Haul and Firebrand Books. Allison's first novel, Bastard Out of Carolina, was made into a highly acclaimed film and was directed by Angelica Huston. Two or Three Things I know for Sure was translated into a short documentary that took prizes at the Aspen and Toronto film festivals, and was an Emmy-nominated feature on PBS's POV. Cavedweller is being prepared for the stage by playwright Kate Ryan, and Showtime recently optioned the novel for a two-hour prime-time movie.


Marlon T. Riggs (1957-94)

Marlon Riggs was a producer, director, and writer, who graduated with honors from Harvard in 1978, and received his MA from UC Berkeley, where he later taught Documentary Film in the Graduate School of Journalism. His films include Tongues Untied, the acclaimed account of Black gay male life; and Ethnic Notions, for which he was awarded an Emmy. Marlon's work has been published in the anthology Brother to Brother, as well as in arts and literary magazines, including High Performance, Black American Literature Forum, and Art Journal. A media activist, he testified before the U.S. Senate, and wrote extensively on the issue of censorship. Marlon was also on the policy committee of PBS, and served on various other panels, including the National Endowment for the Arts.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Felix Gonzales-Torres was a not-so-secret agent, able to infiltrate main stream consciousness in a most beautiful and poetic way. Activist without being didactic, a catalyst of that rare combination of sensuality and political empathy, he raised the bar on future queer art making, and continues to be one of the most influential artists of his generation.

He used the stuff of interior design--electric light fixtures, jigsaw puzzles, paired mirrors, wall clocks and beaded curtains--to queer exhibition spaces in the most simple and poignant ways.


Jewelle Gomez

Jewelle Gomez is a writer and an activist, as well as the author of the double Lambda Award-winning novel, The Gilda Stories (Firebrand Books). Her adaptation of the book for the stage, Bones & Ash: A Gilda Story, was performed by the Urban Bush Women company in 13 U.S. cities. Gomez is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship and two California Arts Council fellowships. Her fiction, essays, criticism, and poetry have appeared in numerous periodicals. Her publications include three collections of poetry: the self-published The Lipstick Papers (1980) and Flamingoes and Bears (1986), and, most recently, Oral Tradition (Firebrand Books, 1995). She also selected the fiction for Best Lesbian Erotica 1997 (Cleis Press). Her new projects include a comic novel about black activists of the 1960s as they face middle age. She is also working with actor Harry Waters, Jr. and director Arturo Catricala on a collaborative performance piece based on the life of author James Baldwin.

Queer Mysteries(Exhibition date: 1993)
by David Cannon Dashiell
San Francisco Art Institute

Before his death in 1993, David Cannon Dashiell produced one of the most dramatic queer works of the 90s. Queer Mysteries, is a large-scale mural that mutates the imagery of the Dionysian murals at the Villa of the Mysteries of Pompeii into a contemporary artistic and social statement. The installation was first exhibited at the Walter/McBean Gallery of the San Francisco Art Institute. Queer Mysteries was later installed at the SFMOMA in 1998 and is now a part of their permanent collection.