Divine Queerness

Divine Queerness: “Forms and Tools: Methods of Healing” is a visual investigation of how queer identity shapes the healing mechanisms and processes of People from the Global Majority. Seven artists examine their own personal, ancestral, and communal journey with healing through different forms and tools, rooted in radical imagination as a way of resilience and a necessary form of reclamation to overcome all obstacles and achieve a notion of divinity.

Exhibition on View

June 1 – September 24, 2023

About the Artists

Benjamin grew up in an abusive, dysfunctional, and adoptive household and then was institutionalized from the ages of 13-18, where he was subjected to emotional, psychological, physical, and sexual abuse. Benjamin’s art has allowed him to process his pain. Art has continued to help Benjamin speak up more about how racism, dealing with sexual abuse as a male, and his recent discovery of being non-binary have impacted his life. Making art through painful experiences has been a complex, personal process for Benjamin. Through therapy and growth, he can now loosen his grip on his art and share it with the public.

Giancarlo is a native of the DC Metropolitan area, and he graduated from SUNY Purchase in 2018 with a BFA in photography. He photographs and collages in an effort to map out where he comes from and where he wants to go. Collaged photographs combine the artist’s body and staged scenes against archival images.

Dauris Martinez is a Bronx-based artist from the Dominican Republic. He received his BFA in Photography from CUNY Lehman College in 2020. Through his work, he explores his identity using reimagined self-portraits, found objects, book clippings, and found images. His work investigates ideas of liberation, transformation, and healing. He hopes to create a conversation around queer joy and acceptance. His work has been exhibited at Bronx Art Space, Bx Arts Factory, RiverFront Art Gallery, Lycoming College Art Gallery, and a few more.

Debmalya is an Indian artist from Kolkata based in New York City. Their practice, rooted in a diary, incorporates photography, performance, and text. It confronts personal trauma and mental health and addresses contemporary societal questions on the “queerness” of identity, body, and space. The lines between the subject and the photographer are fluid in Debmalya’s work. This way, the author tries to understand how people express desire and love and uses these experiences with strangers and friends to question the complex notion of being queer in today’s broader socio-political realm of existence.

As a prominent figure in New York’s downtown art scene, Flash’s artistic practice focuses on the intersection of race, sexual identity, aging, and social justice activism. They directly engage those who are often deemed invisible, as photography is an introspective assessment of their life experience. As an active ACT UP member during the AIDS epidemic in New York City, Flash was notably featured in the 1989 “Kissing Doesn’t Kill” poster. Flash’s art and activism are profoundly connected, fueling a life-long commitment to visibility and preserving the legacy of LGBTQIA+ and communities of color worldwide.

Gabriel Garcia Roman was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, and raised in Chicago’s northwest side. He received his B.A. from The City College of New York, where he studied Studio Art. Garcia Roman is a multi-disciplinary artist and craftsman who examines and decodes the politics of identity through intricate and process-based work. His art has been acquired by the International Center of Photography and shown at the Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA), the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (New York, NY), the Center for Photography at Woodstock (Woodstock, NY), BRIC (Brooklyn, NY), and numerous other institutions and galleries.

Amarise Carrera is a photo-based performance artist utilizing photography to document and observe while engaging in performative conversations. The results are images of quotidian moments and narratives that portal history, ancestry, altars, and still lifes that are alive. The performative aspect is directly referential to a gentle and deeply personal connection to passed down knowledge from elders and traditions from the island of Puerto Rico. Amarise received their BFA in Photography and Film from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018. They are published in Aperture Magazine, Nueva Luz, and have been shown at El Museo del Barrio, Blue Sky Gallery, and will be showing soon at The Museum of New York.

About the Curator

Gabriel G. Torres is a Colombian American interdisciplinary artist and community catalyst. Gabriel’s work has been presented in NYC, Hong Kong, Colombia, and Tel Aviv. During the past years, Gabriel has been working on a series of activations and projects to bring awareness about the de-stigmatization of substance abuse in the queer community, aiming at creating new pathways to envision healing communally. These projects have been featured in SXSW, Latino Theater Co, The Department of Health in NYC, and more. The initiatives started with support from The Laundromat Project, Stonewall Foundation, and Loisaida INC. This year, Gabriel is excited to create space for artists and the community to be part of this conversation with a Lens-based exhibition at The Center, Loisaida Inc, and a theater festival at The Tank NYC.

En Foco, Inc. is a non-profit that supports U.S.-based photographers of African, Asian, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander heritage. Founded in 1974, En Foco makes their work visible to the art world yet remains accessible to under-served communities. Through exhibitions, workshops, events, and publications, it provides professional recognition, honoraria, and assistance to photographers as they grow into different stages of their careers. For more information about En Foco, visit www.enfoco.org.

En Foco is supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, The Mellon Foundation, BronxCare Health System, The Joy of Giving Something, Inc., New York Community Trust Mosaic Network & Fund, the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, Ford Foundation, The Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Jerome Foundation, The Hispanic Federation and Aguado-Pavlick Arts Fund.

The Center’s arts and cultural programming is made possible with support from The Kors Le Pere Foundation.

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