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A History of Queer Street Art

June 10, 2011

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Jeremy Novy who moved from Milwaukee to San Francisco four years ago has been on a tear creating street art with a queer positive message. His latest project is curating the show “History of Queer Street Art” that is on exhibit this month at SomArts.
SomArts Cultural Center

934 Brannan Street,
San Francisco, CA

Jeremy writes, “In street art world, being queer isn’t okay. The scene is dominated by misogynistic and homophobic heterosexual men. This exhibit, intended to counter the world of hegemonic street art, sheds light on the constant bullying of queer street artists and depicts the lineage of queers in street art and graffiti.”

History of Queer Street Art- June 2011 Curated by Jeremy Novy

List of works in the show:
1) Wall Kandi, Dublin, Ireland
a) “Our Lady of Equality”, digital printed color vinyl sticker, 6×4 inches, Dublin, Ireland, 2010
Wall Kandi is a Dublin based acrylic painter and street artist working with vinyl stickers and digital photos of Wall Kandi’s paintings. The paintings are originally for queer themed exhibits through out Dublin and then are photographed and turn it into vinyl sticker’s.
2) Adrian + Shane, Dublin, Ireland
a) “Kiss”, black and white xerox poster, 10×15.5 inches, Dublin, Ireland, 2010
Adrian + Shane are two Dublin based artist working as one create paintings, installations, photographs, films, and since 2005 stencils and now street art that documents there lives together since 1994. In 2010 Adrian + Shane worked with London photographer Robbie Sweeny and photoshop creating an image called “Kiss”, it’s very bold, very queer, and instantly recognized as an Adrian+Shane piece,pasted throughout Dublin City Centre.
3) Space Invader, Paris, France
a) “Space Invader’s Against Homophobia”, digital printed black and white vinyl sticker, 2×3 inches, Hannover, Germany, 2008
b) “Space Invader’s Against Transaphobia”, digital printed black and white vinyl sticker, 2×3 inches, Hannover, Germany, 2008
Space Invader is a Paris based street artist working with tiles that create a bit mapped image of a space invader from a 80’s video game. Space Invader worked with Rosa Anti-fa Vienna, a young anti-fascists group founded in 1995, creating a series of anti-fascist stickers for the ‘Hedonist International’ party in Hannover, Germany in 2008.
4) Encore, Freiburg, Germany
a) “The Kiss”, stenciled 4 color spray paint poster, 22×33.5 inches, Freiburg, Germany, 2010
Encore is a Freiburg based street artist working with stenciled posters and digitally printed stickers. Encore stenciled posters are several layers and talk about his queer identity.
5) Paul Le Chein, London, England
a) “Tattooed Angel”, hand drawn black and white xerox poster with color pencils, 16.5×23.5 inches, London, England, 2010
b)“Tattooed Angel”, hand drawn black and white xerox poster with color pencils, 16.5×23.5 inches, London, England, 2010
c)“It’s A Cock”, hand drawn black and white xerox sticker, .75×1 inches, London, England, 2010
Paul Le Chein is a London based street artist working with black and white digitally printed posters and colored pencils of male torsos and genitalia. Paul Le Chein’s illustrations were used in the advertising and promotional material for some of London’s more notorious gay venues in the 1990’s.
6) Daryl Vocats, Toronto, Ontario
a) “Children Be Gay”, 2 color silk screen poster, 11×17 inches, Toronto, Ontario, 2004
Daryl Vocats is a Toronto based street artist working with silk screened posters, patches and t-shirts. Daryl Vocats says At times I feel powerless and violated by seeing so many ads that I have decided to make propaganda, to make work that will hopefully reach out, invade popular culture, and spread dissent.
7) Gaystencil, Guadalajara, Mexico
a) “Beso Negro”, 1 color stencil cut out poster, XXXXX, Guadalajara, Mexico, 2010
b) “Tranny”, 1 color stencil cut out poster, 7×10.5 inches, Guadalajara, Mexico, 2010
c) “Beso”, 2 color stencil cut out poster, 9.5×8 inches, Guadalajara, Mexico, 2010
Gaystencil is a Guadalajara based street art project working with stencils. Gaystencils would like you to join the project and help us leave stencils in every city on any bench, sidewalk or telephone booth with the help of the pdf templets online you can print out.
8) Opus Gay, Portugal, Spain
a) “Kissing Priests”, black spray paint stencil sticker, 3.5×4.25 inches, Portugal, Spain, 2006
Opus Gay is a Portugal based national queer activist group working with posters, stickers and other media to promote LGBT equality. Opus Gay was founded in 1998 after political members of Spain began to undermine the struggle for LGBT rights in specific instances, trans-phobia, defamation and erotic behavior.
9) Aluminum Shoe, Brooklyn, New York
a) “Queer Punx Let’s Fuck”, hand drawn 2 color acrylic paint cardboard cut out, 14.5×17 inches, New York City, New York, 2010
Aluminum Shoe is a Brooklyn based street artist working with paint markers drawing his “Queer Punx Let’s Fuck” through out New York City since 1996. Aluminum Shoe thinks queers trying to mimic straight society (i.e. marriage, monogamy etc) isn’t the most appealing for their preferred way of living and thinks their street art’s blunt, fun and to the point.
10) Jilly Ballistic, Brooklyn, New York
a) “Two Girls with a Riffle”, black and white digital printed cut out, 10.5×16 inches, New York City, New York, 2011
b) “Little Girl with a Shotgun”, black and white digital printed cut out, 8×10 inches, New York City, New York, 2011
c) “Jeunes Filles En Uniforme”, 7 color spray paint stencil on plexiglass glass, 11×14 inches, Brooklyn, New York, 2011
Jilly Ballistic is a Brooklyn based street artist working with digital printed cut out posters and adhesive on the subways of New York City. Jilly Ballistic is a female artist working with historical images in an urban environment creating new context and a feminist, queer aesthetic.
11) Felix Gonzalez-Torres, New York City, New York, 1957-1996
a) “Untitled”, silver offset print poster, 29.25×44 inches, Chicago, Illinois, 1991-Endless
photo) “Untitled”, 1 color silkscreen billboard, 14.5×22 feet, Oakland, California, 1991-1994
Felix Gonzalez-Torres was a Cuban born New York City based artist working the public in both gallery exhibits and street art that is emotionally tied to the loss of his long-term partner, Ross Laycock, to AIDS in 1991. In 1989 Felix Gonzalez-Torres began making his 70 lbs. block like stacks of paper printed with content related to his private life, from which the viewer is invited to take a sheet.
12) FAILE, Brooklyn, New York
a) “Nothin’s Sacred SE Stencil” 1 color spray paint and acrylic stencil on wood window frame, 53.5x29x2 inches, Brooklyn, New York, 2010
FAILE is a Brooklyn based artistic collaboration between Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller pioneering wheat pastes and stencils worldwide since 1999. On June 26th 2010 FAILE released a stencil along with a press release commemorating the New York City Stone Wall Riots and discussing the homophobia that exists in the graffiti and street art culture of New York City.
13) Keith Haring, New York City, New York
a) “Once Upon A Time”, 8×10 photo of hand painted black acrylic paint mural, 17×50 feet, New York, City, New York, 1989
b) “Once Upon A Time”, 8×10 photo of hand painted black acrylic paint mural, 17×50 feet, New York, City, New York, 1989
c) “Once Upon A Time”, 8×10 photo of hand painted black acrylic paint mural, 17×50 feet, New York, City, New York, 1989
Keith Haring was an artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s. Having died of HIV / AIDS related causes at the age of 31, Haring’s created one of his last works, on the second floor of “The Center”, also known as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, in New York City.
14) ACT UP, New York City, New York, 1987-1993
a) “AIDS Is Killing Artists, Now Homophobia Is Killing Art”, black and white xeroxed white Crack-and-Peel sticker, 4×6 inches, New York City, New York, 1990
ACT UP, (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), was an international direct action advocacy group working to impact the lives of people with AIDS and the AIDS pandemic to bring about legislation, medical research and treatment and policies to ultimately bring an end to the disease by mitigating loss of health and lives with roots in New York City. Fueled by the imperatives of the epidemic, and armed with a healthy knowledge of advertising’s insidious strategies ACT UP took there message to the streets in the form of stickers, posters, billboards and pamphlets.
15) Oscar, Atlanta, Georgia
a) “Dr. Maura Ryan”, 3 color spray paint stencil poster, 26×40 inches, Atlanta, Georgia, 2010
b) “The Lady Vagina Jenkins”, 3 color spray paint stencil poster, 26×40 inches, Atlanta, Georgia, 2010
c) “Brook Bolen”, 3 color spray paint stencil poster, 40×26 inches, Atlanta, Georgia, 2010
Elizabeth “Oscar” Maynard is a Atlanta based artist with a background in drawing, painting and photo working with stencils since 2006 as a primary medium. This work asks the questions “How do Femmes queer femininity?” in/visibility, the beauty standard, and intersections of sexuality, gender, race, class, ethnicity and family background.
16) Party Boy, Denver, Colorado
a) “Do You Party?”, hand drawn permanent marker poster, 10.5×8 inches, Denver, Colorado, 2010
Party Boy is a Colorado based street artist working with hand drawn wheat pasted posters. Party Boy uses gay chat and online hook up codes to both make fun of and educate the masses on these online codes.
17) Shepard Fairy, Los Angeles, California
a) “Love Unites”, color digital print poster, 18×12 inches, Hollywood, California, 2008
Shepard Fairy is a Los Angeles based graphic designer and illustrator working with stencils and digital printed posters and stickers. On November 22nd 2008 he released this image for use in the rally at Hollywood and Highland in Los Angeles to overturn Proposition 8.
18) PRVTDNCR and Bodega Vendetta, Los Angeles, California
a) ”Street Jizz”, black and white xerox poster on multiple color paper, 25.5×33 inches, Los Angeles, California, 2006
PVRTDNCR and Bodega Vendetta is a Los Angeles based painter and street artist working with plain and hand painted xeroxed posters. PVRTDNCR and Bodega Vendetta uses vintage leather magazine personal ad posts of men looking for other men into there sexual fantasies.
19) Homo Riot, Hollywood, California
a) “Homo Riot Text and O.G. Bear“, black and white xerox poster on pink and white paper, 17×22 inches, Hollywood, California, 2010
b) “Homo Riot Text and Homo Duo”, 2 color digital print vinyl sticker, 5×3 inches, Hollywood, California, 2010
c) “Homo Duo”, 1 color digital print vinyl sticker, 3×5 inches, Hollywood, California, 2009
Homo Riot is a Hollywood based street artist working with digitally designed and printed posters and stickers. Homo Riot is a movement to change perception, to flood the urban landscape with images of homosexuals and homosexuality and to combat homophobia and hatred with FUCK YOU.
20) Eddie Colla, Oakland, California
a) “Just Married”, 1 color silk screen poster with spray paint, 74X36 inches, San Francisco, California 2008
b) “Love ain’t the problem”, 2 color silk screen poster, 24×36 inches, Los Angeles, California, 2009
c) “Jefferson”, 2 color silk screen poster with spray paint, 36×48 inches, Los Angeles, California, 2010
Eddie Colla is a Oakland based artist working with print making, t-shirt design, stickers, stencils, and posters. Eddie Colla says advertising pays to perpetually alters our environment without the permission of it’s inhabitants, Eddie Colla do’s the same without paying making the crime theft and not vandalism.
21) Hugh Lee Man, San Francisco, California
a) “Harvey Milk”, hand drawn black and white digital print poster, 31×24 inches, San Francisco, California, 2010
Hugh Lee Man is a San Francisco based artist working with t-shirt design and street art posters. He says Harvey Milk’s portrait is a powerfully positive image which speaks to the idea that we must no longer see issues of gay rights but rather issues of human rights.
22) Queer Nation, San Francisco, California, 1990-1991
a) “Fear of a Queer Planet”, black and white xerox florescent green Crack-and-Peel sticker, 2.5×4 inches, San Francisco, California, 1990
b) “Militant Homosexual”, black and white xerox florescent green Crack-and-Peel sticker, 1.5×4 inches, San Francisco, California, 1990
c) “Queer Nation Meeting”, black and white xerox florescent green Crack-and-Peel sticker, 3.5×4 inches, San Francisco, California, 1990
Queer Nation was a national queer activist group founded by member from ACT UP with roots in New York City, armed with a healthy knowledge of advertising’s insidious strategies. Queer Nation was based off outrage at the escalation of anti-gay and lesbian violence on the streets and prejudice in the arts and media.
23) Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, San Francisco, California 1979-Now
a) “Joy”, silk screened black t-shirt, size large, San Francisco, California, 2010
photo) “Joy”, 2 color stencil spray chalk, 8×8 inches, San Francisco, California, 2007
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a international queer charity, protest, and street performance organization that uses drag and Catholic imagery to call attention to sexual intolerance and satirize issues of gender and morality with San Francisco roots. Sister MaeJoy B.WithU placed a pink spray chalk stencil with a glitter text reading Joy at one major street fairs and has continued the night before all major street fairs.
24) PIXELSTUD, San Francisco, California
a) “Effect” (The Pill Bottles Series), color digital print sticker, 5×7 inch, San Francisco, California, 2009
b) “Cut” (The Pill Bottles Series), color print sticker, 5×7 inch, San Francisco, California, 2010
c) “Consider” (The Pill Bottles Series), color digital print sticker, 5×7 inch, San Francisco, California, 2010
PIXELSTUD is a San Francisco based acrylic fine arts painter and mural artist now working with street art stickers. PIXELSTUD says “The Pill Bottles” are mine and America’s true “Campbell Soup Can” -an iconic canister that we all have had some personal relationship at some point on our lives.
25) Gay Shame, San Francisco, California
a) “Lower Polk Neighbors Association”, black and white xerox poster, 8.5×11 inches, San Francisco, California, YEAR
b) “Be A Bitch”, black and white xerox poster, 17×11 inches, San Francisco, California, YEAR
c) “Gay Shame Meeting”, 3 color silkscreened poster, XxX inches, San Francisco, California, YEAR
Gay Shame is a Brooklyn, New York based movement from within the LGBT and queer communities described as a radical alternative to gay mainstreaming and directly posits an alternative view of traditional “gay pride” events and activities. Founded in 1998 Gay Shame members attack “queer assimilation” in what they perceive as oppressive and conservative societal structures with street art stencils, posters and stickers.
26) Blanche & Rico, San Francisco, California
a) “ButtPlug”, 2 color cut and sewn fabric, 8×8.75 inches, San Francisco, California, 2010
b) “Penis”, 2 color cut and sewn fabric, 6.5×6.75 inches, San Francisco, California, 2010
c) “Vagina”, 2 color cut and sewn fabric, bean, fake hair, 6.75×5 inches, San Francisco, California, 2010
Blanche & Rico are two San Francisco based fiber artist who use street art to advertise there zine and Etsy account. They consider there work to be a study of low-brow analytics specific to San Francisco and placing there art in a public space it gives the work a life and opportunities far greater than a space they control
27) Jeremy Novy, San Francisco, California
a) “Want to See My BEEF NOODLE?”, 5 color spray paint stencil on metal sign, XxX inches, San Francisco, California 2011
b) “Divine”, 2 color spray paint stencil on metal sign, XxX inches San Francisco, California, 2010
c) “Heklina”, 5 color spray paint stencil poster cut out, 96×36 inches, San Francisco, California, 2010
Jeremy Novy is a San Francisco based street artist working with stenciled posters and stickers. Jeremy Novy’s art is about fighting homophobia street art itself is a dominantly male heterosexual community; being out of the closet is not accepted.
28) Akimbo, San Francisco, California, 1990-92
a) “Safe”, black and white blueprint poster, 11×17 inches, San Francisco, California, 1990
b) “Safe”, black and white xerox poster, 36×24 inches, San Francisco, California, 1990
c) “Unsafe”, black and white xerox poster, 24×36 inches, San Francisco, California, 1990
Akimbo was a San Francisco based radical HIV/AIDS and queer activism group working with digital printed posters and stickers on the streets. For the Sixth International Aids Conference held in San Francisco June 20-24, 1990, Akimbo produced a series of 11×17 inch xerox and 24×36 inch blueprint posters with the text “Safe” or “Unsafe”.
29) Sara Thustra, San Francisco, California
a) “Johns Auto Body”, 20 color silk screen on watercolor paper 38×22 inches, San Francisco, California, 2006
b) “STOP MEN (A FREE WOMEN)”, 1 color silk screen on pink paper, 7.75×8.75 inches, San Francisco, California, 2011
c) “Untitled (Horse)”, 4 color silk screen on grey paper, 11.5×7.5 inches, San Francisco, California, 2004
Sara Thustra is a San Francisco based street artist and graffiti artist working in several different mediums. Sara Thruster has used street art in queer activist ways for years and has broke grounds for new queer street artist in San Francisco.
30) New Punk Bobby, San Francisco, California
a) “Man at Urinal”, 1 color silk screen vinyl sticker, 5×3 inches, San Francisco, California, 2010
b) “Rim Job”, 1 color silk screen vinyl sticker, 2.75×4 inches, San Francisco, California, 2010
c) “Blow Job”, 1 color silk screen vinyl sticker, 2.75×4 inches, San Francisco, California, 2010
New Punk Bobby is a unknown San Francisco based sticker artist working with silk screened gay erotic images on vinyl stickers. New Punk Bobby work is site specific in nature being that it is mainly displayed in San Francisco’s Gay Leather Neighborhood known as SOMA (South of Market).
31) Found Sticker Artist, San Francisco, California, 2011
During the months leading up to the Exhibit in San Francisco, California, the curator Jeremy Novy collected a group of unknown but obviously queer stickers.

Queer Liberation

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3 comments on “A History of Queer Street Art”

Yes – that class was epic and had a host of great students who are doing kick ass work today – Jeremy, Jesse Graves, Jenny, Ella, Jason, to name just a few.
Thanks for presenting! Started the class on the right note.