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Pilar Gallego and Cora Lambert on Pink and Bent

 
  Pilar Gallego and Cora Lambert on Pink and Bent  
 
  Interview by Wik Wikholm  
 
 
  Gun Titty by Tara White
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  Gun Titty (2007) by Tara White, one of 24 artists featured in glbtq.com's online presentation of Pink and Bent: Art of Queer Women
 
Pink and Bent: Art of Queer Women is an exhibition of the work of dozens of queer female artists originally mounted at the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation gallery in New York City between May 21 and June 28, 2008.

The working artists invited to participate in the show include emerging artists such as Tara White and Maria Tsaguriya, along with established artists Gaye Chan, Marion Pinto, Hinda Schuman, and many others. Many of the artists who participated in the Leslie/Lohman exhibition also agreed to participate in glbtq.com's online presentation of Pink and Bent.

Two New Yorkers, Pilar Gallego, a graduate of the Pratt Institute, and Cora Lambert, who holds a B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts, curated the show. In this interview, the curators reveal that their differences have been as important as their similarities in shaping the character and especially the diversity of Pink and Bent.

 
 
 

Wikholm: What was your vision for Pink and Bent?

Lambert: Art by queer women is rarely shown in large scale exhibitions, so we wanted to show work by as diverse a group as possible. More than anything, Pink and Bent was about giving queer women artists the kind of attention they deserve and bringing this exhibition back to the community to enjoy.

Gallego: We wanted to be a space and moment of inclusion. We wanted to have artists of various professional levels, and different voices and personal stories heard.

Wikholm: How did you come up with the idea for the show?

Lambert: The Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation invited me to co-curate an exhibition of lesbian art alongside Pilar. We made a great team because of our differences in interests. I am a classically trained photographer and my work is rooted in the history of portrait photography. Pilar is involved in more radical work from the New York lesbian art scene. Her collage work is more provocative, experimental, and political than mine. We exposed each other to dramatically different work.

Our differences added tremendously to the diversity in the work shown at the Pink and Bent show.

Gallego: We each had our own vision of what we wanted to make of this opportunity, and I think we were able to create something that we were both ultimately very happy with.

Wikholm: How did you manage to recruit such a large, diverse, talented group of artists for the exhibition?

Gallego: We reached out to friends, heroes, and legends whose work we value and admire and find inspiring. With bigger names like Judy Chicago, we didn't think we'd be able to get them to participate, but everyone was just so thrilled to be a part of this event.

Lambert: We even changed the name of the show to emphasize its diversity. We had planned to call it The Great Lesbian Art Show, but changed the name to Pink and Bent: Art of Queer Women. We changed the emphasis from "lesbian" to "queer" to make the name more inclusive in terms of gender and sexuality.

Wikholm: How did you select artists and individual pieces for inclusion?

Gallego: For me, it was about community. I wanted to showcase the best work out there by those in our community. We wanted the works to be in dialogue with each other. By best, I mean work that is relevant and pertinent to our times and the history of the queer women/lgbt movement. We wanted the work to be well-executed technically, but we also wanted to allow work that is more raw. We wanted to represent the diversity that exists in our community.

Lambert: For many years I have studied the history of Lesbian Art, and I selected work by women who have paved the way for people like Pilar and me to make the work we are making today. I hoped the show would give viewers a real sense of the history of our community while simultaneously inviting the next generation of voices to come forward and speak up. It was also very important that the show accurately portrayed a positive image of the lesbian experience beyond what limited exposure we are getting in the media. I wanted to strike a balance when looking inward and outward at the community and to express a sense of humor in the art even when addressing serious subjects.

Wikholm: From a career standpoint, do you think women who address queer or feminist issues will ever be able to achieve the kind of superstar success people like Jeff Koons or Damien Hirst enjoy?

Lambert: Catherine Opie, Harmony Hammond, and Judy Chicago are great examples of women who have had successful careers in the art world, but I still feel that female artists, especially queer female artists, are grossly underrepresented in galleries and major art institutions. I hope that someday soon we will experience the same kind of attention and opportunity that male artists enjoy.

Wikholm: Pink and Bent is a good start.

Lambert: Thank you, and thank you for preserving the Pink and Bent show online so people can continue to enjoy it.

 
 
  Related Special Features  
 
  slides >> Pink and Bent: Art of Queer Women  
 
  Related Encyclopedia Entries  
 
  arts >> American Art: Lesbian, Post-Stonewall
arts>> Chicago, Judy 
arts >> Contemporary Art 
arts >> Hammond, Harmony Lynn 
arts >> Leslie/Lohman Gay Arts Foundation 
arts >> Photography: Lesbian, Post-Stonewall 
 
 
  About Wik Wikholm  
 
  Wik Wikholm is the publisher of glbtq.com.  
 
 

 
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