The queer Los Angeles art scene is gearing up for the opening of the month (there are a lot of art openings in L.A.) -- "Fist Pump," from polemic West Coast street-artist Homo Riot. The angry sexual images of "Fist Pump" will debut on Saturday in Downtown Los Angeles. We originally thought to share more of the racy pieces with you, but to avoid offending sensitive sensibilities, we asked Homo Riot to help explain and elaborate on his latest work.
The Advocate: As an artist/activist, how do you feel about the political climate right now?
Homo Riot: It's alarming. There are radical and powerful forces that are aligned against equality for LGBT people in this country. My greatest fear is that the majority of the queer community is at home watching The A-List: New York and [The Real] Housewives of Atlanta and is unaware of what's going on in state and local governments pertaining to LGBT rights. The repeal of DADT was great but a small victory when you realize that any rightwing elected government could reinstate it or go even further and reinstate a ban on gays altogether. That's not out of the question. It's incumbent on us to be involved and be vocal.
How has that affected your work and how is that represented in this new exhibition?
My work on the streets is about confronting homophobia and engaging the gay community. It's not about educating heteros or even offending them, although it may have that effect. I want to take the image of two men kissing out of the shadows and shine a light on it. We need to be proud and open and OUT and not just on Bravo TV but everywhere and in every community. My new show "Fist Pump" takes off where my street art ends. It's a more personal exploration of what it means to me to be gay and out. It's about the dichotomy between "pride" and persistent inner homophobia.
For more information on "Fist Pump," presented by Hold Up Art and Work magazine, go to Homo Riot's Facebook page.