New York artist Rory Golden will exhibit a selection of his works on paper at Art for Change in East Harlem. Drawing from recent projects, Rory’s multi-layered figurative work addresses issues like racial bigotry, sexuality, love, and hate-based violence.
An exhibition publication with essay by curator Wayne Northcross accompanies the work. Northcross writes: “These illusionistic, playful, and phantasmagorical paintings draw a highly surreal map of the black male body in spaces populated by feral and tame familiars, marked by the repetition of talismans and hidden phrases…. “In ‘Chicken Bones’ and ‘Extra Fresh,’ the black body is not a classic temple of perfect form but a frenzied and manic visual site that investigates complex homoerotic roles. Golden’s expressionistic images present sexuality, and black-on-black homosexuality as messy and humorously perverse. They can be read as a flight from gay cultural norms in which the sexual roles of black men reinforce political, social and economic stereotypes. But the paintings also celebrate the homosocial: the men in his pictures kiss, embrace, hump and preen. Other paintings contain nods to Zen Buddhist philosophy and “the concept ‘Mu,’ a full emptiness, completion, wholeness and transcendence.”
Art for Change (“AfC”) is a non-profit 501©(3) organization that encouragesprogressive social change by using art as a medium to disseminate ideas, provoke thought, and encourage discussion. AfC provides a space for discussion and exploration, with the belief that art allows communities to build bridges and articulate experiences, struggles, and aspirations. Through individual and collective reflection, art can inspire communities to critically consider roles and lifestyles, immediate surroundings, as well as the workings of various societal norms and ways to enact positive change.
Art for Change Exhibitions Co-coordinator Allyza Lustig notes: “The art of Rory Golden questions existing social systems on many levels. He addresses race, gender, sexuality, and the complicated overlap of them all, forcing us to acknowledge the undeniable but repeatedly unspoken hate and prejudice that affects both individuals and communities. Rory gives a voice to those who are oftentimes invisible. His work is dynamically layered, vibrantly expressive, and unabashedly erotic. It is bold and fearlessly confrontational; it explodes.”
Art for Change is proud to exhibit the work of Rory Golden, which so clearly speaks to the organization’s mission to spotlight social inequality, intolerance, and injustice. The themes represented in his work challenge audiences to address issues that are simultaneously difficult to confront, yet critically important. The energy in his voice is unique and its strength is evident – Art for Change looks forward to a powerful and inspirational show.