"Camp Fires," the new exhibition on display through February 14, 2016 at Washington's Bellevue Arts Museum, highlights the work of renowned gay Québecer ceramists Léopold L. Foulem, Paul Mathieu, and Richard Milette.
The trio, whose oeuvres span three decades, pay homage to camp — that quintessentially queer form of countercultural resistance. Exaggerations, appropriations, subversions, vulgarities, ironies, humor, and kitsch abound in the artists’ radical repertoires.
Guasparre, Richard Milette, 2000
Visual standouts in the “Camp Fires” exhibit, curated by Robin Metcalfe, include Milette’s S&M-inflected Guasparre, in which a teapot's handle looks like a metal-studded black leather belt affixed to male genitalia; Foulem’s Santa and Blue Boy, which suggests an illicit affair for Old Saint Nick, who stands two tongue-lengths apart from a male youth clasping a hat that resembles a used condom nearly half the kid’s size; and Mathieu’s Crucifixion Bowl, which depicts an eroticized Jesus Christ in a sensual swoon.
Kiss Bowls, Paul Mathieu, 2004