Discover queer artists in the Soho House art collection
To celebrate Pride, we picked six artworks that tell stories of LGBTQIA2S+ resilience, diversity and celebration
Thursday 15 June 2023 By Anastasiia Fedorova
Every year, Soho House celebrates the fact that Pride doesn’t start and end in June. LGBTQIA2S+ creatives and members are an integral part of what makes our global community so special, all year around. From spearheading deep intergenerational conversations to drag performances and round-the-clock parties, queer people are not just guests, but the true makers of inclusive and celebratory spaces.
Queer talent occupies a prominent space in the Soho House art collection, too. Brighton Beach House, for instance, has a specially commissioned collection of LGBTQIA2S+ art curated by Gemma Rolls-Bentley. But queer works and stories are present across all the 40 Soho House cites – providing a wide-ranging snapshot of identities, art forms and creative paths.
To mark this year’s Pride, we picked six LGBTQIA2S+ artworks inspired by resilience, complexity and joy.
1. Naraphat Sakarthornsap – ‘Red Bird of Paradise’
Soho House Bangkok
Based in Bangkok, Naraphat Sakarthornsap explores stories of social inequality and gender discrimination. These heavy-hitting topics are often delivered through photography and installations that involve flowers. Pristine and frozen in their beauty, they evoke the challenge against nature in trying to prolong the freshness of the flower and the challenge against power in society. What is usually perceived as ‘pretty’ takes on an uncanny element. ‘Do not believe in what the flowers in front of you appear to be. But look for the messages these flowers are hiding,’ as the artist puts it.
2. Xavier Schipani – ‘Raw Sex’
Soho House Austin
Visual artist and trans-activist Xavier Schipani explores themes of queer identity, the trans masculine body, sexuality, memory, and language. His work is centered around questions of gender identity, proof of existence, the transformative power of representation, and the emotional resonance of his experience as a trans man. He often works with graphic, minimal silhouettes and blocks of colour, which bring a new dimension to the exploration of sexuality in the public space.
3. Rene Matić – ‘Mia and Cait Snogging 1’
Brighton Beach House
Rene Matić is an artist, writer and poet based in London. Their work spans photography, film and sculpture in a meeting place they describe as ‘rude(ness) – to interrupt and exist in/between’. Matić is interested in dance and music movements such as northern soul and ska. They delve deep into subcultures past and present, personal histories and emotional intimate bonds that exist in today’s queer community. An edition of this print is held at Tate Britain’s permanent collection.
4. Amy Bravo – ‘Palm Totem’
Miami Pool House
Amy Bravo is a Cuban-Italian American painter, born in New Jersey and currently based in Brooklyn. She explores the shared language of culture and family, be it a found, queer family, or blood relatives. Her work is an attempt to understand and reflect the existence of a queer Cuban person who has neither a found family, nor many living blood relatives of Cuban descent left. Challenged with the complications of Cuban politics (particularly in regard to homosexuality), Bravo’s works are ridden with cross-cultural symbolism in search of an impossible utopia in the vague outline of Cuba.
5. Jakob Rowlinson – ‘Becoming Bloom’
Soho House 76 Dean Street
Jakob Rowlinson intertwines the natural world with medieval symbolism, questioning the bounds of masculinity throughout time. Working with collage, sculpture and painting, he merges organic shapes and textures of green moss, ferns and foliage with decorative patterns from medieval designs and manuscripts. His works could be perceived as stylised at first glance, but do hold a raw timely power to question our understanding of beauty, gender and sexuality.
6. Alia Romagnoli – ‘Monsoon Season’
Soho House Rome
Alia Romagnoli is an artist and photographer exploring a variety of subjects ranging from narratives within the LGBTQIA2S+ community to South Asian stories both in and outside of the diaspora. Her work creates a distinct dreamy and bold visual language allowing to focus on unique character of her sitters. ‘“Monsoon Season” is part of a wider photographic series that explores the beauty of the South Asian garment, the sari and how it is draped, worn and can be reimagined.’ For this series heavily inspired by the 1970s theatrical aesthetic and 1980s Bollywood, she also collaborated with Samhita Kamisetty to create frames that reference sari borders and traditional Indian block print and kalamkari patterns.
Visit our events page to find out how we’re celebrating Pride at the Houses, as well as our full events schedule.