A Pride Month Visual Art Series by Amy Swartele
People are wonderfully strange with infinite variety. I'm not interested in small talk, or commonplace phrases and being polite, I want to know your weirdness. Where people break out of the little boxes of what is considered normal, is where I find people being most human and genuine, and that is more fabulous and interesting than the polite masks we so often wear to fit what we perceive to be society's expectations. I think we are all 'other', and I think we should embrace and celebrate that fact.
The paintings are mixed media pieces on PVC board, canvas and wood. I merge a range of styles and media because that is for me the most playful process. I see how very different things can fit together. There are no taboos. I can combine anything, everything is allowed: abstract mark, cartoons, realism and three dimensional elements. The characters in the paintings are fictional combinations of aspects of myself and my friends. Just as I am a mix of many things, among them queer and feminist and binational, so these characters are hybrids. I believe that we make our own families. We choose those who are important to us, regardless of any blood connection, or lack of it. We find those people who inspire us. The people I use as inspiration are those who are courageously and overtly themselves. They are family. They make no apologies or excuses; they celebrate themselves in all their strange variety.