This is the Winter 2018 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.
About a week ago I went to the Hammer to see Catherine Opie's "Portraits" and I was just as amused as I was at her exhibit in MOCA. I really liked the way she captured many very distinct appearances. I saw a vulnerability in the people in the photographs that I don't believe I could have seen if I were to actually see them in person. I really appreciated the dark background because to me it made the person seem as if they were being sucked into a certain darkness. The way the portraits were set up also created an effect for me I feel. The oval shaped frame is different from your usual frame and I feel that that added to the beauty of this exhibit. Also I feel that the artist redefined the idea of a "portrait" due to the fact that even though she does believe these photographs are portraits, she does not center the photograph on solely the face of the person. I like that she did this because the individuality of an artist is probably the most important quality.