Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Fruit, mixed media distressed painting (8" x 8") January 30, 2012

Number 16 in the Gay Dictionary Series is “Fruit.” Along with the terms “fruitcake” and “fruity” it is one of the more obvious pejoratives used over the years to denote persons of my ilk. These terms indicated the widely held belief that all gay men behaved in a manner that heterosexuals considered to be womanish or “effeminate.” The terms are, unfortunately still used by those who hold prejudice against gay men. In contemporary LGBT life the terms are used humorously,and/or as terms of endearment as in “I love fruit,” or “you’re a real fruit, sweetie.” Newer terms have appeared that combine fruit with other terms such as "fruit machine," used to describe LGBT (more specifically gay male) nightlife.

 In the artwork I play with “fruit,” pun literally, as well as look for historical references to behaviors that gay men purposefully used with one another and flaunted in front of their heterosexual brethren. These include a photo that I tore and painted over from a 1970’s San Francisco Pride Parade. Buried in the layers of paint and text are my own photographs of actual, apples, figs, and peaches. The red and gold borders are made with painted tape and metallic pen in that order.

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