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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Queer Visual Culture
Carl Gopal Applies Queer Lens to Tough Problems
Posted by: Wik Wikholm on 09/12/11
Last updated on: 09/12/11
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Detail from "Song of Hillary Clinton" by Carl Gopal.
Carl Gopalkrishnan (aka Gopal) is a UK-born Australian visual artist of Indian and Chinese descent who uses a queer lens to examine international political dynamics using metaphors from Hollywood, Broadway, and French medieval poetry.

He has mixed his mediums and metaphors to explore sexual relationships (1992) and America's identity in a time of war (2011). In the latter series, "The Assassination of Judy Garland--A Metaphorical Portrait of America," he used the arc of gay icon Judy Garland to explore American politics and characters like Obama, Hillary Clinton, Benyamin Netanyahu, Rahm Emanuel, and Tzipi Livni.

He also uses musicals like South Pacific to comment on the use of drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Gopal maintains that "the power of the queer lens can influence [more than] culture wars. It can be a way of reshaping the world by applying queer concepts to tough problems."

His website at www.carlgopal.com includes galleries of paintings from 1991 to the present and also his studio blog posts. Some of his more recent work is featured in "A Star is Born: Metaphorical Portraits of America," an extensive Tikkun Daily blog post.

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