Two Exhibitions will be on view at Strut as part of Queer Open Studios:
Félix D’Eon (Opening Reception 3rd Floor Gallery) and Jordan Joel Pennock (Second Floor Gallery)
Opening Reception: August 11th, 8 – 10 pm
470 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114
FROM THE ARTIST
I am enamored of history and art-historical styles, and have found through my practice that I am a good mimic of the artwork of different eras. I love late Edwardian illustration, mid-century children’s books, and golden-era comics, to name a few styles. These styles are almost always painted from a heteronormative, white, cis-gender perspective, and, in general, erase all other sensibilities from their pictorial cannon. In my work, I attempt to make the illusion of antiquity complete, using antique papers and careful research as to costume, set, and style. My goal is perfect verisimilitude. I subvert their “wholesome” image and harnesses their style to a vision of gay love and sensibility. I treat vintage illustrative styles as a rhetorical strategy, using their language of romance, economic power, and aesthetic sensibility as a tool with which to tell stories of historically oppressed and marginalized queer communities. By painting images of queer love, seduction, sex, and romance, the gay subject is stripped of its taboo nature. For unlike artists such as Tom of Finland, whose work is a celebration of the outlaw status of queer sexuality, my work seeks to normalize the marginal, and place the heretofore taboo subject at the center, through the use of the rhetorical styles of the historically empowered and mainstream. In my work, the illustrative imagery of the past does not cease to be wholesome through the inclusion of gay sex and sensibilities. It simply expands the notion of what wholesome is, erasing shame and celebrating desire.
The work on display here specifically celebrates my Latino heritage; the images play with traditional Mexican fantasies of romance, as imagined by the artists of the golden age of Mexican cinema, Mexican calendar painting, and advertising from the turn of the last century, for example. In these paintings the tropes of Mexican imagery are inverted, so that queer characters act out the romantic fantasies traditionally embodied by the heteronormative and cis-gendered body. In the Lotería series, I re-painted the traditional game of Lotería from a queer perspective. Lotería is a card game, similar to Bingo, in which the different cards represent iconic images, as in a Tarot deck. Among the cards in the original deck are La Sirena (the mermaid), El Diablo (the devil), and El Nopal (the cactus), for example. The Lotería game is deeply engrained in Mexican culture, and I think it is no exaggeration to say that most Mexicans and Mexican-Americans have memories of playing Lotería with family as children. In my version I have taken the original game and expanded it, giving it to our queer community with cards celebrating diversity. The cards are both political and erotic, and often play with Mexican double-entendre and slang. In the upper floor is displayed a series of my erotic paintings.
Jordan Joel Pennock
Second Floor Gallery
470 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114
“When We Become Ravens” explores the radical queer self, gender queer expression, and the power of the flamboyant man. Mixed media portraits document the tragedy, the courage, and ultimately the beauty of queer magic.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jordan Joel Pennock is a Dutch-American visual and performance artist, currently based in Berkeley. His work carries elements of classical documentary as well as magical realism. Jordan’s photographic style is founded in traditional methods of silver gelatin printing, extensive creative experimentation, as well as over 10 years of darkroom experience. He currently explores storytelling through photography, dance, and circus arts. Jordan Joel graduated from UC Berkeley in 2009 with a Bachelors of Science in Conservation & Resource Studies. While at Berkeley Jordan independently pursued projects in fine art and documentary photography, receiving awards and recognition for his work. Currently Jordan teaches, performs, trains, and is showing work in California. Check out more of his work at jordanjoel.com
Strut is the new home for health and wellness from San Francisco AIDS Foundation.We’re a place where gay, bi and trans men can find tools and support to manage physical, emotional and social aspects of health.
Art at Strut
Formerly the Magnet Art Show, The Art at Strut program has been exhibiting the work of a local Gay or Queer artist once a month for over 14 years. 12 artists are chosen for the year and get to show their work on our gallery wall on the second floor for a month. Strut throws them an Opening Reception to celebrate their show on the first Friday of the month, the event takes place on all floors.
Seasonal Art Show
The seasonal art show is a program that helps us create a longer relationship with an artist’s work. We exhibit their work our third floor gallery for around three months.