an exhibition in commemoration and celebration of the Stonewall Riots
@ Art Queen Annex Gallery, 61871 29 Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
In this age of failed and flawed institutions, there is a need for a concerted effort, consistent awareness and considered action. At the same time as the Stonewall Inn is designated as a National Historic Landmark, States are barring people from using the public facilities they are most comfortable in. As gay marriage becomes a Federal right, States are allowing discrimination against gay people based on “religious views”. As we enjoy our first African-American President, minorities are scapegoated and thrown in prison in growing numbers. Passive resistance is not a viable option. There is a call to action.
China Adams‘ White Flags are one set of responses to this call. They are all made of the artist’s junk mail and other detritus of everyday life. The flags take the literal rubbish of quotidian existence and elevate it into something workable, something transcendent. They remove the jingoism of national or state designators and provide a blank canvas for us to project our unique and self-determined identities. They resist the soap opera noise of our current election cycle and ask whom we really want to work with in Government. They thumb their noses at the siren of consumerism and upcycle the material to the level of art.China’s Winter Garbage Chunks are likewise composed of detritus – one week’s garbage at a time to be exact. These pale boulders recall icebergs floating in the sea of the gallery floor – ably tying our lifestyles to the inevitable rise of the waters around us and pointing to the need for an active response.
John Luckett’s actions take another tack altogether. His Drag Queen series is filled with power and mystery. Mystery owing to the fact that the images were acquired by accident during an encounter with a stranger. Who are these men, and where were these images taken? What is known is they resonate with the power of self-exploration and self-expression. Some look bold, some fearful and some just blasé. They are everyday men enjoying everyday pursuits and sharing in the joy of it.
Alongside these photos, John has created Tiara, an installation that invites the viewer to don the crown and take a stroll across the greener grass. He is also presenting the latest painting in his Search and Rescue series, a group of artworks that examines the artist’s personal process of self-discovery and resultant self-expression.