This is the Winter 2017 course discussion blog for and by UCLA students enrolled in LGBTQ Studies 183: Queer Arts in LA.
This course includes a creative component. When this course was first offered during the Fall 2012 quarter, the students researched queer artists who have a significant connection to Los Angeles. Then created a collaborative website.
Ben Cuevas. An artist that transcends various mediums of expression; through video, installations, photography, sculpture, and performance. As a Los Angeles based artist, he uses his work to reflect on the condition and the mentality of what it means to have a body. Having received knowledge from different institutions, Ben Cuevas received his Bachelor of Arts at Hampshire College and has had professional experience with Artists Susan Robb, Edgar Arceneaux, and Kate Rhode. His range of art also varies between solo shows and collaborative work, all spreading awareness about a variety of social issues. The multi-talented artist has also received commemoration for his different works, the Joe Liebling Grant for Film & Video Projects, Best of the Druid Underground Film Festival, and the Best Photography for Cinema at Los Angeles City College.
Cuevas recently toured with and art gallery on the go, Install: WeHo, and gave awareness to an overlooked piece of gay history. In his truck installation he incorporated sound and photography and presented photography on what gay cruising was like during the 1970's. Invoking a sense of a dead subculture, Cuevas covered the speakers which gave off a phantom like sound that accompanied the photos of the past. Having also presented in the ArtSlant Art Gallery, he received 1st place for his Transcending Material piece. I personally find his work very thought provoking, in the case with his WeHo installment the speakers being covered really spoke to the idea of what the gay subculture has been pushed to it's present state. Where before it was a lively time where you would meet and socialize in person but is now a online cult-like culture. Leaves me to wonder what other impressions the rest of his work can leave on the common person.