"Jerome Caja (1958-1995) was an American mixed-media painter and Queercore performance artist in San Francisco, California in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Early life and educationCaja was born on January 20, 1958 in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in a large strict Catholic family. One of 11 sons, Caja called it a family of jocks, although he himself was a frail sickly child. Caja attended Cleveland State University where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1984. He then moved to San Francisco to continue his art education and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1986.
CareerIn the late 1980s, Caja became a well-known artistic personality within the radical gay scene in San Francisco. Caja performed as a drag queen and go-go dancer in San Francisco's queer punk nightclubs, where his performance art has been described as "post-apocalyptic deconstructive drag." In one Easter performance at Club Uranus, Caja in drag performed an elaborate reenactment of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Caja crafted miniature mixed-media artworks which he created from everyday materials, especially those used by drag queens such as nail polish, sequins, lace and glitter. Many of Caja's works were influenced by Catholic iconography and satirized Christian morality. Professor of Communication Fred Turner described Caja's paintings as "fragments of a private allegory -- often dizzyingly grotesque, but also glorious, gentle and sad."
DeathAccording to Caja, he tested positive for HIV around 1989 and began to show symptoms of sickness around 1992. In September and August 1995, the Archives of American Art recorded an oral history interview with Caja. He died of AIDS in San Francisco on November 3, 1995. His memorial service was held at the Hole in the Wall gay bar in South of Market, San Francisco.
ArtworksThe San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) twice provided exhibits of paintings by Caja. Before his death, Caja gifted his unsold artworks to the SFMOMA. Caja's personal papers and effects are archived in the Smithsonian Institution."
El fotógrafo Efrain John Gonzalez estuvo más de tres décadas fotografiando la vida gay en el Meatpacking District. Efrain ha capturado momentos clave de la historia cultural y social queer de Nueva York.
"Efrain John Gonzalez is a photographic artist who's talents with camera and darkroom, has allowed him to document the unusual, the erotic, the unique, the wild and slightly crazy, from the world of body modifications to the underground universe of radical S&M, from sensual beauty of the flesh, to raw sexual desires. An internationally published photographer who for the past 35 years has been traveling down dark and mysterious paths, trying to capture on film, real life images that illustrates a story of people finding the path to their souls, gathering together to celebrate their uncommon lives. His patience has created a rare historical archive of original work, candid photographs of underground clubs, transgender people, tattoo and body modification events, cities at night, and leather cultures."
"Along with my more recent photography with digital cameras, I am always creating new galleries from my incredible film archive of over 40 years of B&W and Kodacrome photography, and each month I will try to introduce a new photo showcase of my older work."
Emanuel Xavier (poeta) & photographer Efrain John Gonzalez at BGSQD (NY, 2014)
Ruth Mountaingrove (born February 21, 1923) is a photographer and poet living in Arcata, California, in the United States. A lesbian and a feminist, she is known for her photographs documenting the lesbian land movement in Southern Oregon.
Early life and educationBorn February 21, 1923, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ruth Mountaingrove is the daughter of Edith Shelling and Herbert Daniel Shook. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Kutztown State Teacher's College in 1945, majoring in science with minors in English and Spanish. In 1946, she published a book of poems, Rhythms of Spring, and married Bern Ikeler. After nineteen years of marriage and five children, the Ikelers divorced in 1965. Mountaingrove joined the Philadelphia chapter of NOW in 1966, and worked to change abortion laws. She helped found Women in Transition, assisting battered women, and helped facilitate the first lesbian group in the city.
WomenSpirit magazine and Oregon Women's Land TrustShe met her future partner Jean in 1970, and in 1971 they moved to Southern Oregon, taking the name of the intentional community where they lived for two years, Mountain Grove. They moved to Golden, Oregon, where in 1974 they founded the quarterly magazine they published for ten years, WomenSpirit. They said their vision was "international and radical feminist. We wanted a cultural revolution—a total reordering of institutions and values. It was to be a modest magazine with grand goals."
In the spirit of removing "man" and "men" from her descriptions of her work, Mountaingrove and Tee Corinne led "ovular" photography workshops instead of "seminars" on photography, where "women could learn photography in the context of the Women's Movement, providing a means for the women to examine the differences between the way men pictured women and the way the women saw themselves." The Blatant Image (a feminist photography magazine) grew out of the ovular workshops.
They purchased land in 1978, called "Rootworks", where Ruth Mountaingrove published the book Turned on Woman's Songbook and a book of poetry, For Those Who Cannot Sleep. Between 1974 and 1986, Mountaingrove had "a twelve year period of photographing women in the lesbian community across the country as well as in Oregon." She photographed meetings of the Oregon Women's Land Trust, documenting their lives at OWL Farm, a southern Oregon lesbian land community providing "access to rural land in order to be able to live outside of mainstream patriarchal culture".
The Mountaingroves separated in 1985.
Recent worksSince her 1986 move to Arcata, California, Mountaingrove's art has shifted from documentary photography to more experimental darkroom and digital images through a process she calls "Drawing with light", exploring photography as an abstract artistic medium, "like sumi ink drawings, or in some cases like paintings". Her photography has been exhibited in California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington, and she has held solo exhibits at three venues: Northcoast Internet, SHNEngineering, and The Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered Center.