Pride: The Color of Empowerment by Gil Croy

June 9, 2020

Be advised that this work contains mature subject matter and may not be suitable for all viewers.

 

Artist Statement

I describe myself as a creative vigilante. Along with the versatility of my skill set and forty years of loving and living art – I have such a drive to express and hopefully inspire viewers to connect with the creative force that lies within each one of us, allowing the imagination to open and the boundaries that confine us to be erased.

Creating art in everything I do is not just a passion it is a need – using color and form to transform the page, canvas, wall or body into a dazzling display that inspires the imagination and excites the soul, it is my hope and dream to bring this to every project I am involved in.

My love of vintage 60’s and 70’s “poster art,” the manufactured look of the Pop Art Studios and the early 20th century social and war propaganda, and collage, can be seen in most all of my works. The use of color, form, pixelated and antiqued images, I feel, adds a sense of intrigue, depth and fascination to my pieces.

Along with graphic and visual inspirations, I am drawn to the use of the six colors of my community’s LGBTQ pride flag. They can make my artwork jarring, almost “gaudy,” and at the same time exciting and thought-provoking to most viewers. “Color and art are a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” to paraphrase Auntie Mame, but oh so true it is.

Project Summary

pride

Confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, on the basis of their shared identity, culture, and experience.

empowerment

The process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.

The LGBTQ Pride empowered a generation and generations that have followed. It gives us a feeling of belonging, community, and hope. The realization that one is worthy of love, life and liberty cannot be trivialized – the gay rights battlefront has always been a fight of peace, progress and acceptance, for anyone that has been marginalized by society.

In the late 1970’s and early 80’s, I was emerging into my adolescence, as was the LGBTQ community. Freedom and self-awareness does not come without costs, especially from a conservative society that works against us every step of the way. Fag, Queer, Pervert were just a few of the remarks that I and others were called, just because we wanted to be true to ourselves.

If we reclaim the hate speech, take the power away from the perpetrator, individual and society, it also takes their imagined strength and intimidation away. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me!”

Incorporating images and words, past and present injustices, social observations and the colors of the pride flag have always been a large part of my artwork. I am inspired and moved by knowing in some small way, my art is holding a mirror up, allowing one to contemplate their place and actions in our world.

Don’t let anyone take your power away, you were created to be you, stand up, be proud!