I AM WHAT I AM
BY PATRIC STILLMAN
27″ X 21″
Patric Stillman’s PERSON PLACE OR THING
JULY 5 – 30, 2017
Reception – SATURDAY, JULY 8 • 6 PM – 8 PM
Artist Exhibition Statement
Regardless of the movement of time, the personal impact of the AIDS epidemic continues to fuel my creative drive. As a gay man who came of age during the late 70’s, my entire world was put askew. I felt lost without the elders of the community. Creative mentors of my generation were robbed of their voices. It was incredibly difficult to enter into adulthood when my community was extremely guarded with their emotions due to the endless loss of friends and surrounded by a confused society, which seemed especially cruel.
Now, as a mature man, the sadness and anger of the past has forged into a desire to step up as a creative mentor of a sort. I have a burning need to create art that presents my truth honestly and openly in hopes that it will offer a sense of continuity and connectedness for others to accept themselves so that they can explore all that they can be. In spite of progress in human rights issues for the LGBTQIA community, coming to terms with one’s own identity is still a personal struggle.
PERSON PLACE OR THING places a spotlight on gay male identity using the visual iconography of film noir. Extraordinarily stylized, noir is the perfect vehicle to express the ideas within my work. The heavily shadowed black and white worlds represent a heightened form of reality. It brings the psychological themes of obsession, sexuality, disillusionment and alienation. Tripped by fate, hardboiled anti-heroes are placed into the night, which make a perfect allegory for homosexuals while also reversing the genre’s poor representation of the community as victims and pansies.
I’m also excited to share my creative origin story with a look at THE MAKING OF THE BROTHERHOOD TAROT. I hope that you can join me in the studio and on-line this month as I share my work and my thoughts during this exhibit.
Thank you to Visual AIDS, Danné Sadler, Claudia & Paul Paparella and the studio artists of The Studio Door for their financial and emotional support in creating these new works.
– Patric Stillman