In a previous post I mentioned that I hoped to make the topic of my final BFA show (still 1 ½ years away) homosexuality and what it is like to have same sex attractions in an LDS community. It will not be the first time that I have used art as a medium to express my feelings on the subject. Over the past six months homosexuality has been a dominant theme in my artwork, although in many cases I have been somewhat cryptic in symbolism and imagery.
I have put a preview gallery of a lot of this artwork up on facebook, and I will be putting the full gallery up on another website within the next few days. I wouldn’t link to it here, but if you email me, I will email you back a link. Since I wanted to leave the artwork open to interpretation, I didn’t explain the imagery and the emotions behind the art on facebook. I figured I would be able to do that here.
In November of last year I was really caught up with the idea of romance and affection. I was perplexed by how easily many Mormons were able to tell me that I should do without it, especially since at that time I was realizing that it did not make one miserable but instead made one happy. I created a series of 10 watercolors representing the intimacy and associated joy that I was being asked to sacrifice.
Then in my printmaking class this semester, I focused on the idea of coming out of the closet. In the first print I focused on my somewhat “public” coming out in relation to BYU’s recent honor code clarification stating that it was ok to tell people that you are gay as long as you don’t advocate same gender relationships. I used the image of a friend who was standing half in the closet and half out. The whole print seems to make a joke out of the policy and is very lighthearted. My second print has a much darker tone and represents the real coming out that people like me must make in secret at BYU. In this print, the man is vulnerable as he goes through a doorway in the dark, alone. They were meant to show two sides of the same process.
My final print in that class portrays 3 nearly identical figures. Two of them have bright crosses of light behind them. The third is facing a different direction, and though he has the potential to shine, his light is oppressed by his surroundings. There is a gap between him and the other two. This one is about the fellowship of gays in Christianity and is called, “With the Saints.”
It’s nice to be able to visually express the emotions that I feel in my artwork. Each time I illustrate a particular concept, I can feel my anger and bitterness about that subject subsiding. It’s like I have found resolution in that area. Maybe by the time I have completed my BFA show I will be able to resolve everything about being a Moho and I will be able to move on to the next stage of my life.