Queer Artists of Color in New York During the AIDS Epidemic
When AIDS was spreading throughout New York – as too elsewhere – it impacted the artistic community in devastating ways, but in these dark times other artists and art, which were often blatantly political, emerged.
As of late, given the various anniversaries of the AIDS epidemic and the commencement of ACT-UP and other aesthetic-political movements, several books and art exhibitions, such as Art AIDS America (2015), emerged. But, what was lacking—if not elided—was the role of women, LGBT, and queer artists of color and/or artwork that represented the lives and politics of said artists.
Even though NY has been overly written about with regards to AIDS, HIV, art and/as activism—there has been little work done on women, LGBT, and queers of color during the early days of AIDS in the, then, art capital of the world. Thus, it is important to look at art through literary, visual, performance, and activist women of color and artists of color. If the work of Jose Muñoz has taught us anything, it is that hegemonic AIDS and art literature and history have a lot to learn from other histories and lives—as well as art, broadly construed, by queer woman and artists of color. Thus, this panel will explore those so often elided in this field of research and theorization in order to open the field to a broader spectrum.