I have to shut up and do more homework before I post.
I mentioned last week that painter, Maureen Mullarkey exploited drag queens in her art. I thought she really liked the Pride parade and its carnival atmosphere. Today I went to her blog to read in context her much touted quote, seemingly in praise of the Gay Pride parade: "an erotic celebration loosed for a day to keep us all mindful that Dionysus is alive, powerful and under our own porch." Yep, she said it, and it was used against her in the court of public opinion, when gay activists went after her (in a mean, threatening way) because she was a contributor and supporter of Prop 8 and very much against gay marriage. I should know what that's like BTW - which explains why I no longer have gay friends, but I digress.
Mullarkey, as I've said before, has some very interesting thoughts on art, and I do like her work. I've said that already. Her interest in the Pride event, and all things celebrating gay is explained on her blog, an excerpt reprinted for the reader's convenience here:
To make sense of this, backspace to the early '90s and a series of paintings I exhibited called Guise & Dolls. It was a singular body of work based on images from New York's annual carnival, the gay pride parade. I could have used a New Orleans Mardi Gras or Munich's Fasching, but Manhattan was closer. At times funny and poignant, the parade was also—in the age of AIDS—tinged with sexual danger. The spectacle of it made a splendid analogy to the medieval danse macabre.
Festive misrule and the politics of carnival, deeply rooted in cultural history, are a compelling motive for painting. Think of Bruegel the Elder's Fight Between Carnival and Lent. The flamboyant Dionysian heart of the gay pride parade was the subject of Guise & Dolls, not homosexuality itself and certainly not any policy agenda. A public event free for the watching, it is staged to provoke audience response. I responded with a suite of paintings; they bore no relation to my prior or subsequent work. All suggestion that I "make a living on the back of the gay community," as my mail insisted, was a hysterical fantasy brewed in the grievance industry's fever swamp. - MM
I totally get that and appreciate her homage to medieval danse macabre, the fight between Carnival and Lent, or if I can phrase it in more contemporary terms, "conflict between neo-Calvinism and Catholic reform." It makes sense now.
My sincere apologies to Ms. Mullarkey for misunderstanding her intentions and work. I regret having criticized her for that.
Although I still think Jim Gaffigan deserves a pass as well. Perhaps he thought of the event as 'entertainment' or 'performance art'?
Caution: Due to the graphic nature of Mullarkey's art, I'm setting a break so that her image will appear only after the break. It's a fine painting, but the subject matter is extremely disturbing and not suitable for children or persons suffering from SSA or gender dysphoria. It could cause violent reactions in people suffering from PTSD and/or very manly men.
Mullarkey "Because it is a marvelous spectacle,
an iconographic lode.
There is so much to look at.
Art is not about 'appreciating.'
It is about looking."