Works from ‘The Boy Who Loves Flowers & Boys’ - 2018

The Boy Who Loves Flowers & Boys

22"w x 10"depth x 36.5"ht
Patina and PU paint on Brass & Iron
2018

Societal norms and legislation had forced the Indian queer community to build alternate identities and lives, often living in shadows. This artwork examines how queer people have folded, unfolded, bent and often suppressed themselves to survive in a hetero-normative society. Homosexuals will often create multiple facets of their personality to deflect the curious gaze lest their true self be revealed. This work is a deeply personal one, as it reflects the long journey to accepting my own sexuality. It is me, as an adult, reflecting on my childhood and embracing my feminine side. As a boy I picked and decorated myself with flowers, necklaces and my mother's scarves. I later revisited family photo albums and ripped every photograph of myself that revealed the slightest hint of femininity. That's not what boys do, I had told myself! Boys don't grow, pick, and wear flowers. Boys can't love other boys... With the revision of Section 377 and decriminalization of homosexuality in India, I am slowly removing the reflecting armour to becoming a more transparent and authentic version of myself. I now absorb and refract the light as opposed to merely reflecting the gaze of others. The Boy who loved flowers has blossomed into the man who loves flowers and men...

Valay Gada
valayg@gmail.com

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