L.J. Roberts

"L.J. Roberts (sometimes credited as Lacey Jane Roberts) is an American textile artist. Roberts, who is genderqueer and uses singular they pronouns, explores queer and feminist politics in their work.

Roberts grew up in a suburb of Detroit.[They were taught to knit by their grandmother at age seven. As a teenager, they were sent to an all-girls boarding school in Maryland, at a time when they were "dykey, angry, rebellious" and "grappling with [their] own sexuality and gender". In 1996, they viewed the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Washington D.C.; this was the first time they'd seen "queer lexicon and militancy". Roberts was then sent to a boarding school in California in an attempt to "feminize" their behavior and dress.
Roberts attended college at the University of Vermont, where they resumed knitting after suffering a severe injury that limited their access to facilities. In 2003 they created their first activist textile piece, dropping a hand-knit pink triangular banner from the church steeple on campus. The banner read "Mom Knows Now"; this served both as their coming out and as an homage to ACT UP activism against AIDS.

Roberts graduated from the University of Vermont with bachelor's degrees in English and studio art. Roberts then attended the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, doing further artivism there by knitting the words "& Crafts" and installing them on signs for the school, which had recently dropped "and Crafts" from its name. This work was later recreated to become a part of the collection at the Oakland Museum of California.[4] Roberts graduated from CCA with a Master of Arts in visual and critical studies and a Master of Fine Arts in textiles."


Wim Heldens

Wim Heldens is a Dutch portrait artist who creates flamboyant, highly expressive portraits set in intimate interiors, elevating ordinary people to actors staging his philosophical, often witty narratives. Inspired by the realist approach of the 17th Century Golden Age in the Low Countries, Heldens’ skillfully captures the distinctive northern European chiaroscuro, reminiscent of Dutch masters such as Johannes Vermeer and Gerard ter Borch. Heldens’ main focus is on the complexities and ambiguities of the human condition within daily life as it unfolds around him, using traditional methods to translate his concepts and insights into contemporary visuals.

Heldens’ favorite portrait subject is Ariq Robinson (also known as Eric) whom he has painted twenty-three times to date and describes as, “my muse, my partner, my husband—even though we’re not married—he’s the love of my life.” Heldens also enjoys painting children and youngsters for many of whom he’s a surrogate father figure. Heldens thinks children are often portrayed too sweetly sentimental, so he aims to depict them as distinct, individual personalities. A signature item that appears in each of Heldens’ paintings is a framed mirror or image which metaphorically breaks through the wall of the interior space to offer an alternative symbolic view to complement the narrative.


Doron Langberg

"Born in 1985 in Yokneam Moshava, Israel.


I see my paintings as a conduit between the viewer and me, through which my experiences become theirs. In my process, I search for affinities between textures, marks or color relationships and moments in my life, ranging from banal to sexual. I focus on love and desire in my work because they are both fundamental human experiences, but also what mark me as different. When I’m confronted with views about queerness, whether in a conversation, on the street, publicly expressed in the media, or embedded in institutional policy, I often feel that they do not reflect my own experience of sexuality. Through their visual impact, I want my paintings to bridge this gap between how I see myself and how others see me. By foregrounding color, gesture, and the tactility of paint I try to create a connection with a viewer that speaks to the shared sensations of the bodies we inhabit rather than the social categories that constrict us."


Clayton Patterson - Portraits from the Pyramid Club

"The Pyramid Club is a nightclub in the East Village of ManhattanNew York City. After opening in 1979, the Pyramid helped define the East Village drag and gay scenes of the 1980s. The club is located at 101 Avenue A in Manhattan.
In the late 70s and early 80s, when mega-clubs like Studio 54 and The Limelight, dominated New York nightlife, the struggling artists, actors, musicians, and drag queens who lived in the East Village created their own, more intimately-scaled scene. They began taking over some of the local dive bars, such as the Holiday on St. Mark's Place, and created new clubs where there previously were none, as was the case with Club 57 (in the basement of a church), and 8BC, on a block of abandoned tenements.
The club became a hangout for "a new breed of politicized drag performers" like Lypsinka, Lady Bunny, and RuPaul, whose first New York City show was at the Pyramid Club in 1982. On Labor Day 1985, Pyramid performer Lady Bunny hosted the Wigstock Festival in Tompkins Square Park.  Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry dropped in the Pyramid to do a feature on the club for MTV, and Madonna appeared at her first AIDSbenefit at the club. Both Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers played their first New York City concerts there. From 1992-95, Blacklips Performance Cult, a collective founded by Antony Hegarty, presented plays at Pyramid every Monday at midnight.
In 2007, it was proposed that 101 Avenue A, the Pyramid Club's building, be landmarked. The proposal, described as the first "drag landmark", was not adopted by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. However, in the spring of 2011 the Landmarks Preservation Commission proposed a new historic district in the East Village focused around lower Second Avenue and encompassing 15 blocks and 330 buildings. The original proposal excluded buildings such as the Pyramid Club, but thanks to efforts made by local community groups such as the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative, East Village Community Coalition, Historic Districts Council, and Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the proposed district now includes 101 Avenue A as well as other similar buildings. The Landmarks Preservation Commissiondesignated the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District on October 9, 2012."