(noun) – a usually rousing popular song that typifies or is identified with a particular subculture, movement, or point of view <i.e. anthems of teenage angst, sexual revolution, etc.>
The above definition is the closest to what the show embodies at the innovative space on Orchard Street, Strange Loop. Arte Fuse attended the group show of various artists presenting all the possibilities there is last June 21st. The show “Anthem – A Song of Celebration” was curated both by Alesia Exum and Claire Fleury. It was a lively Thursday afternoon where the work was teeming with life and the crowds gathered on the sidewalks for a warm summer afternoon.
Various artists that participated and joining in a rousing spectacle of work were: Brett Lindell – Katie Koti – Alesia Exum – Drashko – Martyn Thompson – Joseph
Heidecker – Claire Fleury/LuxPunk – Shane Shane – Kitsch and famous
There were photographs, mixed media installations, video and sound to round out a very different view of Americana and its subculture. As always, the gallery transformed its interior with every exhibition but this ode of a POP movement style was fearless in being able to highlight such indelible imagery as an alternative to how art is perceived.
It was rife with political and sociological subtexts of what it means to be gay in America. There had been strides made to include homosexuality into the mainstream but the whole subculture was originally born because of being contradictory to the white picket fence dream. It is the very unfiltered and outlandish character of the gay world that is being celebrated here. There are still facets of it that may not be easily embraced in the mainstream. However, there is no blatant push or hidden agenda to make it palatable to the masses. Each work is raw, unapologetic, poignant in its realism, witty at times and straight to the gut expression of the artists. It sings out loud that it is different and not to be homogenized into what is considered safe for the general public.
June is Gay Pride Month in New York City and this exhibition is a testament of fearlessness that these works are being shown. It is here to just be and if it ruffles a few feathers – then the problem is not in the work itself but on what is deeply seated in the heart of the viewer. This is the song of a generation celebrating the odd beauty of a life less ordinary. It’s an anthem worth singing.
Anthem – A Song of Celebration / On View: June 21 – July 31, 2012
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday (12 – 7 PM)
Strange Loop Gallery. 27 Orchard Street. New York, NY 10002
article by: Oscar A. Laluyan