Joseph Abbati’s work addresses concerns over visibility and body-positive celebration in the queer community. Abbati’s paintings focus on queer pleasure, gaze, and desire. He is interested in the ways that social standards (on social media especially) pressure queer men themselves to fit into heteronormative expectations. His works act as an archive of the censored, but they are also just plain fun in their approach. His titles and imagery deal up witty puns and visual jokes through which we can see how much Abbati reveals in humor and levity – mobilizing them as clever tools to be thrown in the face of oppressive (and likely more boring) forces.
“Shape Shifters” is a metaphorical representation of the lives of queer individuals, showcasing their resilience and strength in navigating a world that often seeks to limit their identity. Abbati’s paintings are a celebration of the beauty and diversity of the queer community and their ability to shape-shift in order to find their place in the world. Through his art, Abbati creates his own metaverse of the queer community. The exhibit features a collection of portraits, each one showcasing a unique aspect of the queer experience.
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Opening this Friday Nov 3 is Passing through the Soft Storm, by London based abstract-figurative painter Adam Baker, his first solo exhibition in the US. This series of oils is inspired by the notion of travel and the separation of self that comes with voyaging into the unknown.