Friday, March 05, 2010

The PDA Show

Roof Top Garden Club, Hotel Utah", 2010 by Anthony Ithuralde

Artist, hero, and friend Laura Sharp Wilson has spent the past 6 months putting together The PDA Show in her new home, Salt Lake City. She and husband Robert (former drummer in legendary Western Maryland band Sadhu), and their son Owen moved there (maybe?) a year ago from Olympia, Wa.

Spurned on by the news of a gay couple being arrested for a peck on the cheek while on the grounds of the Latter Day Saints temple in SLC, Laura placed a call out for artists to respond to the news, and to the idea of public displays of affection in general. 50 of us responded. The show opened last weekend.

Laura has done a great job communicating with all of us during the lead up to the show (she created a blog and posted all of the work submitted) and has sending us updates about how the work was received. Q Salt Lake, SLC's featured the show on the cover of their recent issue. Read the article.

For my part, I sent two images from a series that I'm calling Reading Blues.

Untitled (Richmond Reading Blues #1, 2), 2010

These are images from a collection of pictures clipped from newspaper obituaries. I have been clipping and saving for a number of years, and this is the first that I've enlarged and printed any of them. I collect all kinds of obituaries, but for The PDA Show I thought it would be interesting to focus on images of African American men. Enlarging the pictures emphasizes the newspaper's half-tone printing process, and like the reading, clipping, scanning that I do, there is a kind of unlikely communion that happens as a result of the isolation and enlargement of the image. I took Laura's question of PDA to be a question not of others but of myself.
I can't undervalue the opportunity that the daily perusal of the obits affords me. In their pages, I have the uncommon - and in Richmond, the unlikely - opportunity to look into the eyes of these men and wonder in which ways we are the same.

There's lots of great work in the show. Here's a favorite by LA's Paul Evans (I like those little flags in the corner):

Hope Springs Eternal (Gay is Good), 2010 by Paul Evans

Thanks Laura!