Art Watch: Alix Smith’s Gay Family Portraits

According to NYC-based artist Alix Smith, when the typical American visualizes gays and lesbians, they think "men in underwear, women on motorcycles, sequins, and loud music," all of which is projected on the nightly news every time there's a large Gay Pride parade. Smith, frustrated that what is being seen represents only one subgroup of the gay community, has sought to illuminate the actual diversity that exists in the LGBT world through her project States Of Union . Dissembling the conventional, one dimensional media portrayal of gay social mores, Smith's series of color portraits of same-sex couples (with poses based on classical works) reveal a largely unseen family life. Her struggle to bust stereotypes both within and outside of the community is especially relevant in the current climate, with Carl Paladino blasting homosexuals, Tyler Clementi's suicide, and Michigan's Assistant Attorney General's blatant gay bashing, to name but a few column-inches issues. Click through our slideshow to check out Smith's family snaps—their almost mundanity seeks to prove that, like heterosexuals, gay life isn't all about glitter and speedos (thanks again, Paladino).
States Of Union is an ongoing project. If you're interested in potential inclusion, studio visits, or purchase, contact Smith here.

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