Strange Loop Composes Anthem for a New Generation

Small galleries on the Lower East Side are like jewel boxes; they are diminutive in size but the wealth of art you’ll discover are worth more than the price of rubies. Strange Loop on Gallery Row of Orchard Street still kept the SHIRT store signage outside as a nod to the area being once a textile and clothing purveyor Mecca. The live gallery space ran by Alesia Exum (a Photographer) and Claire Fleury (a Fashion Designer) changes its interior accordingly and for this exhibition “Anthem – A Song of Celebration”, they staged a POP art movement style laced with Americana and added a potent shot of subculture.

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The subculture in play for this show deals with the views and perceptions of the Gay lifestyle in America, which still remains underground in some aspects. If you looked into a dictionary, the word Anthem has been defined as a rousing popular song that is identified with a particular subculture, movement, or point of view. In this case, the songs are blaring with the odd and beautiful world of what it means to be gay in America.

The artists joining fervently in the Anthem are: Brett Lindell, Kate Koti, Alesia Exum, Drashko, Martyn Thompson, Joseph Heidecker, Claire Fleury/LuxPunk, Shane Shane, Kitsch, and Famous.

A carefully arranged display of photographs, video image, soundscapes and mixed media installations populated the slim railroad floor planned gallery. Each piece expressed the political and sociological subtexts of homosexuality as being still a fringe scene or outsider from the mainstream. There is a homogenized view of what is the gay lifestyle nowadays but this show rails against that. The Gay Scene was born in clandestine venues and inner circles without necessarily caring what the public deems as acceptable. The overall mood is unapologetically raw, stark gritty realism, sardonically witty and brutally frank in showcasing the gay subculture as retaining its renegade spirit. In essence, it celebrates the odd beauty and honesty that few will ever understand of a life less examined. This is the song and battle cry that is being sung out by these artists. For that – Glory! Hallelujah! Fabulous!

Anthem – A Song of Celebration/ On View: June 21 – July 31, 2012
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday (12 pm – 7 pm)
Strange Loop Gallery, 27 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
(646) 410 – 2083

BY Oscar A. Laluyan

IMAGES courtesy of artists c/o Strange Loop Gallery

27 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002 (646) 410 - 2083

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