With this series of portrait paintings, I want to celebrate the LGTBQ community in the hope to offer viewers the opportunity to dive with novel eyes into its richness, tenderness and diversity, away from stereotypes and prejudiced ideas.
As mother of a son who identifies as Queer, as an American citizen and as a human being, I believe it is important to give a tribute of love to those too often ignored, discriminated against, at best misunderstood and at worst persecuted. Documenting this population’s personal stories and intimate dreams beyond their sometimes-non-conforming appearance or behaviors, is crucial to further their universal acceptance and enable them to live their lives openly and freely.
I worked from photographs, and I wanted my sitters to express their personalities. They wore clothing of their choice and assumed their own poses.
As a representational painter, first, I strove to get an accurate likeness of the subjects. Then I made sure to include somewhere in the painting, something relevant to them, be it a favorite color, meaningful words, phrases or an important object or symbol. I also shared with them the progress of the painting for their comments.
When I started looking for subjects, I said “yes” to anyone who was willing to pose for me and be included in a gallery exhibition. I think I was extremely lucky to get a group of men and women who are secure in themselves and are willing to be looked at by both their peers and by a public who may or may not be receptive to who they are.
I trust that my portraits will help celebrate the diversity of humanity while showing respect and validation of my sitters’ spectrum of identities.