Naked Knitting and the Art of the Provocative
Thursday, 12/04/2014 – 12/07/2014 07:00 pm – 11:00 pm
1909 Lincoln Road,
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Hôtel Gaythering to Host “Queer Biennial I” – an Unabashed Exhibition of Queerness – During Art Basel Weekend
Miami Beach – November 18, 2014 – Definitely not your Grandma’s knit-one-purl-two, performance artist Ben Cuevas will knit himself a jock strap while nude as part of “Queer Biennial I,” an LGBT-focused art exhibition to be held during Art Basel Weekend at the Hôtel Gaythering. In addition to Cuevas knitting in the raw, “Queer Biennial I” will spotlight 35 artists and more than 100 pieces of art throughout the hotel property in what curator Rubén Esparza calls, “a national survey of the current moment in queer/LGBT culture from artists who do not shy away from sexuality, identity, the body or all around queerness.” “Queer Biennial I” is open to the public Thursday, December 4, to Sunday, December 7, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Hôtel Gaythering is located at 1409 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.
Cuevas’ point to naked knitting? To comment on the absurdity of gendered notions of work. (http://bencuevas.com) Other artists exhibiting during “Queer Biennial I” include Gio Black Peter, a visual and performance artist whose works examine text and subject, truth and fakery, rebellion and authority. Black Peter’s art relies heavily on interaction with the viewer and his or her willingness to suspend rational thoughts and play into the believability of lies and falsehoods. (http://www.gioblackpeter.com)
Inspired equally by his landscape painting father and his singer/songwriter mother, Scooter LaForge (http://scooterlaforge.tumblr.com) honed his painting voice in the San Francisco and New York art scenes. Difficult to categorize or label, LaForge’s paintings are at once pop art with undertones of debauchery, and are definitely NSFW. Rick Castro’s films and photographs explore the world of fetish and the fringes of sexual culture. He describes his nudes as an antidote to his career in fashion as a wardrobe stylist and his films as an exploration of what may considered bizarre now, but will become the standard of the future. (http://www.rickcastro.com)
Neon sculpture artist Lili Lakich (http://www.lakich.com) views her artwork as drawings … lines that glow. Her illuminating works range from playful to sobering and run the gamut from female nudes to monumental sculptures. The shimmering, pulsing, luminous vibrancy of neon gives her sculptures a 21st century edge, despite the medium’s primal appeal. Multimedia artist, filmmaker and writer Slava Mogutin was exiled from his native Russia for his outspoken writings and LGBT activism. Fleeing to the U.S. in 1995, he became the first Russian to be granted political asylum in the U.S. on the grounds of homophobic persecution. Today, his visual art is inspired by that dissident background and encompasses themes of displacement and identity; transgression and disfiguration of masculinity and gender crossover; urban youth subcultures and adolescent sexuality; the clash of social norms and individual desires; and the tension between attachment and disaffection, hate and love.
Curator Esparza, who will be exhibiting some of his ad-themed visual pun artwork, came up with the idea of “Queer Biennial I” as a way to showcase emerging, mid-career and established Out / Queer / LGBT artists from the visual, performance and video art disciplines. In addition to being out and proud, these artists all have one thing in common: they are not afraid to venture into the realms of body, identity and eroticism.
“Every one of these artists is brave,” Esparza said. “They are uncompromising in their willingness to step outside the boundaries of polite society to create art that they are passionate about.”
“As Miami Beach’s only gay hotel, we wanted to bring an exhibition to the property during Art Basel that holds a mirror up to the LGBT community,” said Alex Guerra, co-owner and creative director for the Hôtel Gaythering, who will also be exhibiting during Queer Biennial. “After the exhibition’s debut showing in L.A. this summer, we knew ‘Queer Biennial I’ was a perfect fit and something we wanted the local and visiting LGBT community to experience.”
While queer-themed art is not for everyone, the prices of the art for sale to aficionados will be, Guerra says, as the artwork tops out at $2,000.
Other artists participating in “Queer Biennial I” include: Boston, Connie Fleming, JON VAZ GAR, Angela Gleason, Glen Hanson, Chasen Igleheart, Josef Jasso, Brian Kenny, Bruce LaBruce, Alex La Cruz, Jeremy Lucido, Ian MacKinnon, Dave Naz, Mel Odom, Miguel Angel Reyes, Robert W. Richards, Stuart Sandford, Tawnie Silva, Jacques Smith, AB Soto, SUPERM, Alonso Tapia, Joey Terrill, Maurice Vellekoop, Amy Von Harrington, Daniella Woolf, Rich Yap and Austin Young.
In addition to its run in conjunction with Art Basel, “Queer Biennial I” will be open at Hôtel Gaythering through January 14, 2015. For information, visit www.gaythering.com and click on the “events calendar” tab.
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About Hotel Gaythering
HÔTEL GAYTHERING is Miami Beach’s only hotel specifically targeted to the LBGT community and its allies. Dubbed “South Beach’s Gay Hotel,’’ it’s situated on the west end of the renowned Lincoln Road Mall just a few steps away from South Beach’s cafés, shops, nightlife and breathtaking beautiful white sandy beach.