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Uncensored: Queer Art and the Church


Yesterday evening was the opening reception for UNCENSORED: Queer Art and the Church Exhibition at the Leslie-Lohman Annex Gallery.

A print of my painting ‘ Damned ‘ was part of this important exhibition denouncing the censorship of Queer Art by the Church. My friend Con Artist who also had a print of one of her pieces up on the walls of this exhibition, can be seen pointing to the image of my piece. Her’s is with the hooded priest and Altar boy. The exhibition runs till April 1, 2012.

Uncensored: Queer Art and the Church is an activist riposte to the shameful history of censorship against LGBTQ art and artists by both the Catholic Church and Fundamentalist Protestant Churches. The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art firmly believes that all art should be seen and displayed without regard to content; therefore submissions to Uncensored: Queer Art and the Church were not curated, edited, interpreted or censored.

UNCENSORED: Queer Art and the Church
March 27-April 1, 2012; 12pm-6pm

In response to the church’s recent call to censor the groundbreaking exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture at the Brooklyn Museum, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is hosting Uncensored: Queer Art and the Church

Leslie-Lohman Museum Annex
127-B Prince Street, New York, NY 10012
info@uncensoredexhibition.org

UNCENSORED:
Queer Art and the Church


Uncensored: Queer Art and the Church is an activist riposte to the shameful history of censorship against LGBTQ art and artists by both the Catholic Church and Fundamentalist Protestant Churches. The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art firmly believes that all art should be seen and displayed without regard to content; therefore submissions to Uncensored: Queer Art and the Church were not curated, edited, interpreted or censored.

The image of my painting ‘ Damned ‘ will be among the art exhibited.

Opening Reception:
Tuesday, March 27; 6-8PM                                                                                                                        

On view for one week

March 27-31, 12pm-6pm

Leslie-Lohman Museum Annex

127-B Prince Street, New York, NY 10012

info@uncensoredexhibition.org

Joelle Circé’s Artistic Journey


This is a phone interview I had with Luna Allison for Xtra.ca magazine online about my art and my Solo show at Venus Envy Ottawa.

 

Joelle Circé’s artistic journey
ON DISPLAY / Painter went from Scientology to kink and BDSM-themed art
Joelle Circé has been experiencing an artistic and personal awakening.
As a lesbian of transexual origin, Circé’s physical transition has also led to a profound emotional shift. She started to experience a new level of wonder and fascination with women’s bodies, and her growing personal experience with misogyny and oppression transformed her art into decidedly queer work.
“I had stopped [painting] for about ten years before my transition,” says Circé. “Before that, I was doing landscapes, still lifes and portraits for a living. It wasn’t satisfying enough. I dropped it all, walked away from it and joined Scientology for 14 years.”
But when Circé came out as a woman to her fellow Scientologists in Los Angeles, she says it did not go over well. She decided to move back to Canada and make space in her life to fully become herself.
Joelle Circé paints erotic scenes ranging from rope play to crucifixion.
(Joelle Circé)
This month at Venus Envy, locals get a chance to see what she’s been working on throughout this transformative period.
Her body of work began with a series of vaginal portraits she started painting 12 years ago.
“They were the first paintings I did after my transition,” says Circé. “Some of them are erotic — BDSM and fetish — and others are more feminist, addressing body issues and misogyny.”
From there, Circé moved on to a series of portraits with queer and kink themes — capturing rope play, eroticism, dildos and harnesses, moments of personal and sexual liberation, as well as images of the queer and gaymous, like Montreal’s Nat King Pole and New York’s Con Artist.
These last two portraits are currently on loan to the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York, along with an image of transsexual crucifixion, called Damned, which was accepted into the permanent collection there four months ago.
“I was in at the reception for an all women’s art show, called Estrogenius, in New York,” says Circé. “The curator said, ‘Come over here. I want to introduce you to someone.’ Very unexpected. That’s how it came about.”
This month’s show, The Art of Joelle Circé, features samples of the Circé’s edgiest work, which is right at home amongst the dildos, vibrators, floggers, rope and books of erotica permanently on offer at Venus Envy.
Broken Images is on display at Venus Envy
(Joelle Circé)
The Deets:
The Art of Joelle Circé
March 4–31
Venus Envy
320 Lisgar St
circesart.com

venusenvy.ca

 

http://www.xtra.ca/public/Ottawa/Joelle_Circes_artistic_journey-11689.aspx#.T2ER7BHBH9l.facebook

Owning my gaze.


I find that in order for my art to be relevant, I must speak about what matters to me as a woman. I can only be the owner of what emanates from my gaze as an artist. My desire is to paint on topics that lends voice to my own gender and sex as a woman, to speak about queer women, erotica from a woman’s point of view, about struggles and social injustices towards women is what vibrates within me.

Two paintings sold at Venus Envy Ottawa


Below are the two paintings that were sold during the Opening reception / Vernissage at Venus Envy Ottawa on march 4th, 2012. It’s always such a plus to receive positive feedback from those who visit and comment of my art and when a piece is sold, this also is very encouraging to me as a woman artist. 

In what manner is my art feminist.


When looking upon my drawings and paintings, is it possible to come to the conclusion that my art is ‘ gynocentric ‘ overall and I would answer that yes, it is, very much. I try to concentrate my efforts and gaze of women’s issues, women’s concerns. This does not mean that my art is somehow more feminine, just that I paint what I find of great importance to me as a woman artist. Sometimes, my pieces are rather in your face and harsh and one could argue that this leaves it with very little feminine aesthetics, one could argue.

The fact that I make use of techniques and knowledge of art that is steeped in the patriarchy of yesteryear might seem misleading or even a contradiction of my established stance that I am a feminist queer woman artist. It is true that I use these techniques, I even enjoy them very much but this is how I was schooled, trained and yes it is a very privileged situation for a woman. What I do is use this knowledge to further my intention of speaking on women’s lives. 

I draw and paint in the context and lived reality of my identity as a woman, one with a transsexual origin. This includes my sexual orientation, my past, my views as an atheist, my social class, that I’m a married lesbian of a certain age, my race, my personality and much more. Oh, yes my gender and sex should very much be placed among all of the above.

When I go through the process of deciding what will be my next painting, I take into account the herstory of women, I actually sometimes become overwhelmed by all that can and should be spoken of in regards to my sisters. But usually, I latch onto one aspect such as how we deal with our bodies, our images of them, always attempting to transgress what is expected.

I am building on the feminist artist that precede me, taking courage and inspiration from their examples. My art is often quite political but sometimes it can be whimsical as we all go through a great variety of emotions and periods in our lives and this is no different for me. I enjoy representing queer women and giving some sort of visibility and honor just as I feel deeply about always creating new paintings about women’s issues and lives. Of course, the more erotic pieces will likely continue to have their place in my art as I perceive sex, sexuality, the sensual and downright erotic as valued aspects of being a women, not something to be shameful of.

The way in which I express my feminist views are as similar and as different as is that of any other woman’s, it is highly personal. 

And if I failed as an artist


If I fail at being an artist in society’s eyes, it is of no importance to me, only that I did all in my power to be the best artist I could be matters. As much as I enjoy getting feedback and I do, I paint not to have you admire my art but because I have this crazy need to communicate through this medium and it’s endlessly fascinating to me to hear/read/see people’s responses and reactions to my art.

Joelle Circé

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