What better way to kick off PRIDE weekend than with an artist brunch.
Guests arrived at the elegant Spring Place in downtown Manhattan this past Saturday afternoon to celebrate MAD Luminaries 3rd Annual PRIDE Brunch! Guests enjoyed grazing on fruit, meats and some very tasty rice balls along with sipping Della Vite Prosecco and other festive drinks.
MAD Luminaries is an organization affiliated with the Museum of Arts and Design whose mission is to help others advocate for future generations of art and design. In this spirit, they invited a panel of four queer artists to speak upon their own personal artistic journey’s and their relationship with PRIDE. The panel was hosted by MAD Luminaries co-chairs Alexander Hankin and Timo Weiland and featured Turkish artist Sarp Karem Yavuz, Edward Granger, British Visual artist Shantell Martin and multimedia artist Linjie Deng who originally hails from China but now lives and works in NYC.
Deng kicked off the panel by talking about his experience growing up under China’s one child policy. “I had to die on paper to keep me alive,” he said matter of factly.
Once he moved to America and no longer had to pretend to be dead on paper, he was able to explore and express his identity, creating art pieces such as his Togayther social movement and Superhero Super Gay.
When asked about his relationship with his art, Granger spoke fondly. The Nordstrom installation artist says, “I’m looking at my younger self saying ‘hey you made it’”.
Yavez, who is originally from Turkey but now lives in Paris, explained how his artwork, which has focused on projecting traditional Islamic tiles onto male bodies, was his way of combating the conservative of the Turkish state. He noted his experience with conservative countries not having anti-gay laws established because to do so would mean that the government would first need to acknowledge that homosexuality exists. When asked about his experience celebrating PRIDE in the United States versus Turkey he chuckled and explained that he enjoyed not getting tear gassed when celebrating here.
Martin kicked off her presentation by having the audience do a thought provoking experiment where she asked who could draw. A few sparse hands out of the fifty or so in the crowd shot up. She went on to state that we all could draw as children.
“How can you not do something as an adult that you could do as a child”, she inquired.
Then she asked again who could draw and almost all the hands in the room raised. To that, she seemed satisfied then went on to discuss how she’s obsessed with asking questions and how her art centers around that notion.
As the panel came to a close Deug shared one of his favorite quotes to deal with haters which is, “If God hates gays why are gays so cute”.