In a society that is obsessed with youth and where mature women are often invisible, the artist Jo Ann Block is challenging these constructs with her work at her pop-up exhibition, ‘Queer Before Queer,’ at the Leslie-Lohman Project Space in SoHo this weekend.
Her intimate portraits of butch lesbians pay homage to those who have fought so hard to bring the LGBTQ community to the place it currently occupies in American life, while also challenging the popular notion of the female form as “erotic, vulnerable and alluring.”
Using collage as her medium, Jo Ann’s images queer the representations of conventional male qualities of triumph and strength with their unfaltering postures. They triumphantly claim who they are and own the space they inhabit.
The exhibition opens Friday evening, September 21 from 6-8 p.m.at the Leslie-Lohman Project Space on Prince Street in SoHo, but the artist has also planned what will be a lively and thought-provoking conversation with with queer activists Carmen Vasquez and Lisbeth M Melendez Rivera on Saturday afternoon, September 22 at 3 p.m., as well as an artist’s talk on Sunday, September 23 at 4 p.m.
“My intention is to have others see what I see … fierce lesbians who are still a force to be reckoned with even with physical signs of age!” she says.