GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2010 artist Xavier Radic will show his visual art work ‘MURIWAI SURFERS II’ as part of this year’s festival. Full programme of the festival (8 to 21 Nov) is now announced. For GFEST 2010 films, performances and exhibitions information & booking please visit: http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk/
Some Thoughts from Xavier Radic:
I am preparing for a new summer outdoor shoot with new gay models for the poses, to be shot in a public area of scenic beauty. I have been developing my own queer art since starting my fine art degree in 1998, and have been always trying to ‘push the envelope’ visually, using some Mapplethorpe shock tactics for viewers. I have used small sized images, which the viewer has to get close to see, and therefore has less problem with offending passersby, though fun to see the look on their faces once they comprehend what the image contains.
With my Post Graduate studies in the Queer Theory area, I undertook to revisit and recreate historical male nude poses in a modern contemporary way and also make sure I maintained a purity by only using ‘self identifying gay males’ as models. This I continue to do. Selecting models suitable to use that do not represent the stereotypical gay gym bunnies has its own challenges, and then accommodating the models partners wishes.
There is little queer art that gets outside New Zealand and from our distant global position it is always an extra challenge logistically. My recent works have been far larger than I usually do, and this can bring shipping problems. I intend to push NZ Queer art globally wherever possible.
I am always first and foremost a queer artist, though I also produce art outside the queer arena, mostly historical and architectural. With the male nude as my main subject in my queer art, I find I am continually at loggerheads with those who see any nude male as pornographic, particularly when the medium is photographic. I give my final prints my own ‘treatment’ to soften the image and make it less graphic than it can appear from a distance.
I support my queer art projects through teaching classes and workshops to adults in photography and photoshop. This is never enough to pay for materials, so I am always looking to see new ways to create and form my queer artworks for presentation to the public. I have offered queer workshops in the past, but with no takers.
Generally I promote my queer artworks through public exhibition, usually as part of a queer festival, which then gets a particular viewer audience. Otherwise it is through queer articles in print media or through the internet, with heavy emphasis on queer ‘hit’ words to capture web surfers. From 2008, I have exhibited in San Francisco, Auckland and New York, and been invited twice to the Florence Biennale (2009 & 2011). I have also personally shown my queer art in Amsterdam and Strasbourg in 2006.
It would be great if there was an honest and genuine forum to support queer artists globally, particularly those of us outside the geographical mainstream. There are some groups who espouse this but do not deliver, unless you are either already famous or American.
I approach my own queer artwork in my own way, and deal with the subject matter as I set it. I am not easily influenced by opinion unless it has merit or historical support and credence. How would I like to be know? This seems to have 2 positions; in life and after. Currently I try to maintain professionalism as a queer artist, and afterward who can tell?
Unfortunately a lot of the queer art ‘scene’ or market is driven by prettiness and the ‘does it match my curtains’ approach. It is shame that many viewers cannot find a more personal visible dialogue with the art and enjoy it for the arts sake, rather than what might seem ‘fashionable’, after all everything in ‘fashion’ also goes ‘out of fashion’ eventually. Perhaps there should be some sort of ‘peer’ processes for queer artists to go through or register with, that can help authenticate and support the promotion of queer art and artists globally.
For queer art to be more about the technical merit of the art and artist, than the items produced and promoted as ‘art’ that clearly are neither quality art nor even original ideas, but ideas stolen from elsewhere. Maintain a more open and honest dialogue globally through queer based conference and debate.
Thank you Xavier and best wishes from GFEST.
GFEST2010 showreel on YouTube
GFEST 2010 images on http://www.flickr.com/photos/GFEST
GFEST 2010 Visual Art : http://www.flickr.com/photos/gfest/sets/72157624870998137/
More info on GFEST – Gaywise FESTival (GFEST in short) web: http://www.gaywisefestival.org.ukGFEST Artistic Director: Niranjan Kamatkar
WISE THOUGHTS is an arts charity that organises GFEST – Gaywise FESTival in venues across London. GFEST web networks: http://www.wisethoughts.org http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk http://www.facebook.com/niranjan.kamatkar http://www.gaywisefestival.blogspot.com/ http://twitter.com/gfest https://gaywisefestival.wordpress.com/ http://www.yoursemotionally.com/ http://www.myspace.com/interviewwithapolitician http://www.flickr.com/photos/gfest/ http://www.youtube.com/user/wisethoughts http://uk.linkedin.com/in/niranjankamatkar http://www.myspace.com/gaywisefestival