Richard Bolingbroke’s Family Portraits at QIY – Big Gay Art Show in SF

Opening Saturday from 1-4 pm at SOMArts: Queer It Yourself: Tools for Survival. How do we make and do things that will have a lasting import? Straight culture has its traditions, institutions and social formulations and so have we. Sometimes they are parallel, other times a bit askew. When queers ask one another: “Is he family?” the word means something very different than when it is deployed as a semiotic weapon, as is the case with the coded phrase “family values.” How can we reconfigure notions (ie: the family) that have historically been used to separate, condemn and alienate us into useful tools for our collective long-term survival?

Artist and friend of this site Richard Bolingbroke explains how this works for him:

“These two pieces are part of my series Family Portrait in which I portray the men and women I am close to. As a gay man I needed to create my own ‘Family’ and I decided to document it myself rather than let straight society do it for me.. These men are my lovers and close friends. This is my community, my family. There are over 40 drawings in this series and these two of Frank and Luca, and Gary and Joe, are of couples who have both been together over 30 years.”

You can see Bolingbroke’s portraits, and lots of other fresh art Saturday afternoon at SOMArts, 934 Brannan Street in San Francisco. Opening at the same time in the side gallery: A History of Queer Street Art. More on that later.

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