Local artist focuses on LGBTQ heroes and martyrs in new exhibition

Brandon Teena Portrait LGBTQ

Philadelphia artist Carolyn Cohen, known for her textiles and paintings focusing on the brutalization of women, children, and LGBTQ individuals throughout the world, is preparing to debut new work at Muse Gallery on April 1.

“Allowed to Love: Heroes and Martyrs in the LGBTQ Community,” which runs April 1 – 30, features a new series of portraits of activists, artists, victims, and others within the LGBTQ community.

“It was very difficult deciding who to include, and I started with a list of close to 100 names which I slowly narrowed down to about 25,” says Cohen. ” I included activists, artists, models, a politician, a prisoner, as well as victims of suicide and murder. I chose these individuals based on their life story and on whether or not I felt I could do justice to their image.”

Portraits include Gertrude Stein, Harvey Milk, Janet Mock, Christine Jorgensen, and Brandon Teena. Each piece is accompanied by wall text, or incorporates text into the work, describing the individual portrayed and their particular accomplishments and/or challenges.

The artists reception will take place 2 p.m., Sunday, April 10. Myles Geiger Рa local figure who Cohen chose to include as part of the exhibit Р will speak on transgender issues at the reception.

“In his teens, Myles came out as a lesbian, but then had an ‘aha!’ moment a few years later when he met a transgender man for the first time,” says Cohen. “It was at this point that he realized that he was transgender (male) and he began transitioning. While going through this, he was running and growing his construction business in Philadelphia. I found his story compelling because it is so triumphant; he had moments of darkness and despair but never stopped trying to find his true self, and once discovering this, was completely open about it. I see him as an inspirational figure for young people in the area who are also struggling with their gender and/or sexuality,” Cohen adds.

Learn more about Cohen and her art by visiting www.carolyncohenart.com

Leave a Comment

Powered by WordPress | Warrington Web Design & SEO by The Creative Cachet