(image via BRIC)

The Portrait is Political
Opening Wednesday, April 24 at BRIC, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 12.

Portraits have become one of the most ubiquitous forms of imagery in our society. While their origins lie in fine art, today’s portraits can take any form, but the most common is surely the selfie. Some might argue the vast proliferation of selfies and such has diluted the significance of this form, but I’m more inclined to believe it has opened up the opportunity to start thinking more purposefully about portraiture; one must, to cut through the churn. The Portrait is Political, a “suite” of exhibitions opening at BRIC this week, seeks to reassert the power of depicting people in art. Jaishri Abichandani immortalizes Brooklyn’s South Asian feminists in paint, Texas Isaiah creates collaborative works with his subjects, and Liz Collins curates a sprawling spread of portraits from over 35 queer artists.

From left to right: Fred McDarrah, Celebration After Riots Outside Stonewall Inn, Nelly (Betsy Mae Koolo), Chris (Drag Queen Chris), Roger Davis, Michelle and Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt, June 1969, 1969, silver gelatin print, 8 ½ x 11 in. Collection Pavel Zoubok. Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images. Courtesy of Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York; Adam Rolston, I Am Out Therefore I Am, 1989, crack and peel sticker, 3 ½ x 3 ½ in. © and courtesy of the artist; Cathy Cade, Christopher Street West, LA: None of Us Is Free until All of Us Are Free, 1972, digital print, 16 x 11 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Art After Stonewall, 1969-1989
Opening Wednesday, April 24 at Leslie-Lohman Museum and Grey Art Gallery. On view through July 21. 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a notable event in queer history spearheaded primarily by working-class LGBTQ people and trans women of color, though not everyone who talks about Stonewall (read: the recent, unfortunate feature film on the topic, you remember the one) emphasizes this. But how exactly did the events at Stonewall impact society going forward? This question would be difficult to adequately address from all angles at once, which is why the large, multi-gallery exhibition Art After Stonewall zeroes in on how the artistic landscape was affected over the following two decades. The show features over 150 piece of art and archival work from people like Robert Mapplethorpe, Vaginal Davis, Judy Chicago, and Catherine Opie, as well as a variety of artists yet to be well-known by the public.

(image via Doosan Gallery / Facebook)

Opening Thursday, April 25 at Doosan Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 8.

The name for this solo exhibition by Seo Young Chang might refer to the opposite of “on,” whether that be machines powered down or humans having a day where they do not have to attend work. But looking at Chang’s monochromatic, morbid multimedia creations, it seems more apt to use “off” to describe how these works feel. Simply, something seems off about them. A brief perusal of the works reveals voyeuristic security camera-esque footage, photos of a body bag that could double as an editorial spread, and existential text-based pieces, among other things. The artist is interested in death, illness, and what lies beyond life as we know it, and focuses on the circular or repetitive thinking that these topics can unearth, so don’t be surprised if you leave feeling a thought spiral coming on—it’s all in the name of culture.