SCENES // Joe Sinness – RESULTS // Daniel Luedtke // 7.25.20 – 8.22.20
Joe Sinness — SCENES || Daniel Luedtke —RESULTS, concurrent solo art exhibitions of new drawings, prints, and sculpture at HAIR+NAILS opening July 25, 2020. With SCENES, Twin Cities artist Joe Sinness continues to work with themes from his extraordinary 2017 Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) show “the Flowers”. Sourcing from porn, live models, Hollywood musicals, his images reject fear and heteronormativity in depictions of queer desire. Exquisitely drawn in colored pencil, Sinness’ vibrant photorealistic drawings result in a “subtle and sensitive feast for the eyes” (City Pages).
First Avenue describes Daniel Luedtke’s beloved Minneapolis band Gay Beast as “too weird for the stereotype ‘gay band’ and ‘too gay’ for the noise-rock set.” Luedtke went on to earn an MFA at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and is now on faculty of the Art Department at Florida State University. This homecoming art show displays the multi-talented artist continuing his straddling of disparate vibes and practices. In RESULTS, expect floor-bound sculptures and print-based 2-d works that are bold, bald and inspired by science-wonkiness in his exploration of how the health of bodies are quantified in these times of Covid.
In the artists’ own words:
“It is important to reintroduce the queer male body into art as desirable, sensitive, and worthy of love. The fear of gay male promiscuity is real, and I seek to balance an urge for heteronormative assimilation with more authentic subversion. The work is a personal means for visualizing desire and transforming shame into dignity and pride. Rather than hiding desire, I show ways that desire can be satisfied – by honoring queer sexual utopias of the past and by considering sexual landscapes of the future.
This new body of work is a continuation of the work I presented in my exhibition the Flowers at Mia in 2017. While the portraits in the Flowers were portrayed as heavenly bodies worthy of love and adoration, my new portrait characters take a less passive roll, bare their teeth, and find ways of interacting with one another. In this loose, continuously evolving esoteric porn ‘script,’ queer figures navigate through fantasy landscapes, encounter conflict, ghosts, and monsters, and enjoy sexual conquests with high camp and drama. In the drawing ‘Gift,’ (2020), the bejeweled hand of a contemporary queer offers a yellow tulip to a playgirl pinup of the past, showing how time and place can also be queered. The seductive trappings of photorealistic drawings become glossy, yet melancholic tributes to queer sexual performance in a given, fully realized world.
I work with both live models and images culled from pornographic sources, old Hollywood musicals, vintage physique pictorial magazines, etc., but my directorial role as artist is consistent no matter the source of the content to create a new fantasy scene. Once I’ve collaged the images together as art objects or digitally, I begin the slow process of recreating the images as colored pencil drawings”.
“I am thinking about figures and how their definitions come together.
Figure: A number. Official statistics or financial performance.
Figure: A person’s bodily shape. Representation of human form. Person seen indistinctly at a distance.
In Covid we are looking at figures every day, affecting what we do, where we go, and how we live, who we’re with… The number of infections and deaths illustrate an abstraction of how bad the pandemic really is. The daily assessment of the risks involved underscore the fragility of our own bodies, the ethics of our own agency, and our sense of individual control. They set the stage for when the state and the law must intervene. When do our desires and behavior become incompatible with the numbers? The work in “Results” isn’t a direct illustration of these questions, but is a backdrop to my exploration of how the health of bodies are quantified. “Results” is a poetic exploration of how these figures are presented back to us in the form of lab results, health related advertising, and narratives of cause and effect.”
Joe Sinness is interested in the history of queer sexual performance and the way that queer people have found love and community. His colored pencil drawings on paper seek to visualize future sexual utopic landscapes and celebrate queer bodies. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, and recently had a solo exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art titled the Flowers in 2017. Sinnesswas a recipient 2013 McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship, a 2015 Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR), and is a current 2019 McKnight Fellow. Sinness holds a BA in studio art and English literature from St. John’s University in Minnesota and a MFA from MCAD ’05. He works as a concept illustrator and lives in St. Paul. Sinness’ work was previously exhibited at HAIR+NAILS in the COLLECTING ART group show in 2017/8.
Daniel Luedtke is an interdisciplinary artist and musician living in Tallahassee FL. Luedtke’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries and museums such as the Walker Art Center, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, and NP3 Gallery in the Netherlands. He/They are currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Florida State University.
Project support for Joe Sinness—SCENES + Daniel Luedtke—RESULTS has been provided by the Visual Arts Fund, administered by Midway Contemporary Art with generous funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York.
a public installation of image, video, light and sound
curated by Cameron Downey
(*) In conjunction with Joe Sinness—SCENES || Daniel Luedtke—RESULTS starting
HAIR + NAILS Contemporary Art Gallery
2222 ½ E. 35th St. Minneapolis, MN 55407
SCHEDULE: Fridays and Saturdays, June 19-July 25, 2020. 9:00-10:00pm
LOCATION: Screenings are free, public events in the HAIR+NAILS frontyard.
Continuing screenings in the HAIR+NAILS backyard sculpture garden July 25-August 22, 2020 during open gallery hours and by appointment.