Raising the eyebrows of the conventional art world, San Francisco-based Queer Arts Resource (QAR) announced today the launch of the first Internet-based forum for the display and discussion of queer art on-line. QAR at http://www.queer-arts.org will provoke questions and provide a stimulating context for discussion about aesthetics, politics and censorship as it cybercasts the beauty of the homosexual/bisexual/transgender dynamic in the visual arts.
Presenting four thematic exhibitions in its first year, QAR will feature work by contemporary and historical artists, established and "fringe," in all media. The QAR inaugural site will include a gallery exhibition, "The Body Transformed," displaying work by artists Daniel Goldstein, David Maxim and Steven Wolf with interpretive and critical notations; a controversial article by artist and writer Jonathan Weinberg; a bookshop in association with Amazon.com; a calendar of exhibitions and instant links to other Websites including the Andy Warhol Museum, The Shroud of Turin and the Names Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt.
As a clearing house for queer art -- through its notices and links to other sites and through its essential interactivity (via email initially) -- QAR will reach out to the worldwide gay and lesbian community, to Web surfers, scholars, artists, collectors and the curious, many of whom live their lives far removed from the urban centers of gay and lesbian culture.
QAR was conceived in early 1996, when it became apparent that although there were many on-line galleries, there were none dedicated exclusively and openly to the work of queer artists. In launching the project, QAR founder Barry Harrison hopes to challenge the erroneous assumption that calling attention to the queer content of art limits its meaning. "To the contrary, we believe that a focus on queer art as such contributes to a deeper understanding of the artistic impulse in society in general."
Queer Arts Resource is a project of The Tides Center of San Francisco. A non-profit activity, QAR is currently seeking funding to underwrite start-up costs as well as on-line sponsors for on-going financial support.