SOHO, Manhattan (PIX11) – At the world’s only LGBTQ + museum of contemporary art, Pride is not a one-month affair.
Pride is a daily event at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art in Soho. With 25,000 exhibits in its collection, the museum encompasses and promotes LGBTQ + artists as people and as artists, said director Alisa Nichun.
“For artists, it’s like coming home to the opportunity to create and exhibit work in this place,” Nichun said.
The museum has its roots in 1969, the same year as the riots in Stonewall. Founders Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohmann held an exhibition of gay artists in their attic in SoHo. From there, they continued to collect and exhibit works by LGBTQ + artists.
Some of their thousands of works of art were acquired during the AIDS pandemic, according to the museum. They saved the work of dying artists.
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art was accredited in 2016. In 2019, the museum changed its name to The Leslie-Lohman Museum in an attempt to include more diverse sexual and gender identities.
“It was a unanimous decision to represent the whole space of our community,” Nichun said.
The museum now presents the work of Lorenza Bötner. The exhibition, which will run until August 14, includes paintings, photographs, drawings, videos and biographical materials. Bötner lost his hands as a child and painted, using his legs and mouth to hold the brush. This was a special moment for Nitchun when Böttner’s work was installed in Leslie-Lohman.
“You could feel her spirit in the museum,” Nichun said.
Bötner moved between names, pronouns, and gender expressions throughout his life. Curator Paul Presiado noted that her work is about change.
“Ultimately, Lorenz’s work is about endless transition rather than fixed production of identity, and her images build a dissident visual framework that calls into question both the binary of gender and the contrast between the normal and the pathological, the able and the disabled.” said Presiado.
There are also more modern tracks on display in “Not Me, Not That, Not Nothing Either”, open until June 25. Works by Math Bass, Diedrick Brackens, AK Burns, Jibz Cameron, Theresa Chromati, KC Crow Maddux, Troy Michie, Christina Quarles, Devan Shimoyama, Sifas Stubbs and Jade Yumang.
Visitors will see PlayStation controllers, Adidas pants and bottles of sports drinks used in paintings, drawings and sculptures to tell LGBTQ + stories. One piece rethinks Rapunzel as black and strange.
“There are so many entry points for so many people,” said Foreign Minister Aime Chan-Lindqvist.
Many of the museum’s exhibits can only be seen in Leslie-Lohman. Curators look for works of art that are often ignored and give artists a platform.
“We see the power of art to explore, inspire and build understanding,” Nichun said.
The museum is located at 26 Wooster Street. It is open Wednesday from 12 to 5 p.m. and Thursday from Sunday to 12 to 6 p.m. Admission is free with a $ 10 donation.
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