Paul P. and Scott Treleaven
June 19 — July 05
Paul P. (b. 1977, Canada) first gained attention for his drawings and paintings of young men that systematically re-imagined found erotic photographs along with nineteenth-century aesthetic modes. In his paintings and drawings, P. references images from the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives and gay erotic magazines produced around the time of the Stonewall riots until the advent of the AIDS crisis. His works appropriate these images and transform them into portraits that exceed stereotypical depictions of queerness, instead creating nuanced portraits and abstract landscapes that convey gestures of introspection, desire, and mourning. Scott Treleaven (1972, Canada). Scott Treleaven’s artistic origins are in small-gage filmmaking and self-published zines that made an enduring contribution to independent, queer, and underground culture. Over the years, through a series of decisive shifts in medium and intent, he turned to painting and drawing, embracing the phenomenological and spiritual legacy of abstraction as a transcendental, rather than purely formal, tradition. The modest and democratic tenants of his early practice continue in his material choices, as well as the theory of collage as a basic gesture of insolence, a social strategy for discord and for metaphysical beauty.
A substantial part of queer history (encompassing the entire spectrum of LGBT experience) has involved the creation and sustaining of subcultural spaces and entire adjunct “societies” that have provided not only places for exiled and marginalized individuals to freely explore their sexuality, but also to imagine what a social structure free from normative constraints might look like, both politically and aesthetically; beauty and subtlety, in queer hands, possesses a true radically wherein politics and aesthetics can be inextricable. Fire Island looms large in this history of queer locales, as part of a continuum that includes Capri, San Francisco communes, pre-AIDS Venice beach, even Sappho’s Lesbos. These places are especially interesting in that their geography – coastal, or island – suggests a theme of isolation, as well as being the furthest ends to which a subculture can escape to, or be pushed; naturally beautiful environs edged by, or ringed by, the ocean; a void that suggests a frontier of either annihilation or possibility.