Queer Identity

Although the word “queer” was first employed in homophobic discourses during the 1980s HIV/AIDS crisis, activists embraced it to transform it into the now preferred term for many LGBT people owing to its lack of a clear definition and the spirit of societal defiance it implies. This month, AucArt’s sale pays attribute to queer artists who have embraced self-empowered narratives that challenge prevailing theories of gender, race, class, and sexuality.


Despite the diverse themes it encapsulates, queer art has been hidden for a long time since LGBTQ+ elements were not always socially acceptable. Nonetheless, there was constantly a solid need to produce representations of queer identity. Artists such as Andy Warhol, David Hockney, and Agnes Martin explored visual coded motifs to signify queerness in clandestine ways at the time.


It was not only until the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, when patrons of a mafia-owned homosexual club in New York battled against a police raid, marked a before/after moment for LGBTQ+ rights. As a result, plenty of other protests emerged worldwide, resulting in the most significant event in the modern campaign for LGTBQ+ rights. After that, June was designated as the commemoration month to celebrate the LGTBQ+ community, now known as Pride month. Unlike past activist campaigns, the rise of queer rights allowed artists this time to explore their sexual identity openly through their works. Moreover, queer art historians began to rescue LGTBQ+ art that went undetected, censored, or left out from art history books for decades.


Because queer violence is still on the rise, and many nations are actively debating issues that influence queer fundamental rights, art serves as a medium to support, protest and uncover problematics and expose the works from queer artists whose lives are often excluded as part of the canon. With this in heart, we’ve picked 5 artists from our roster to accompany them on their journey of exploration of identity through their art.

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