Neta is highlighting different artists across South Texas. For Pride Month, we did something a little different. We wanted to showcase some of the artwork displayed at Pride in the Park’s MariconX Pride Exhibit. The one-day pop up show was hosted by Arttitude, an LGBTQ non-profit arts group. If you missed the show this weekend, here’s your chance to check out very personal and beautiful work from 6 queer artists in the Rio Grande Valley.

1. Ricardo Partida

“Growing up queer and brown in a border town, I always felt need to create work that included unconventional male bodies as a fundamental part of its value system. Working with the local LGBT shelter ‘Pride Home’, I came across a group of individuals who made ends meet through the escort circuit, a taboo conversation for a small community in the Rio Grande Valley. Male escorts or ‘Rent Boys’ are a growing community at the South Texas Border. Groups often consisting of undocumented immigrants and household runaways desperate to make a living look to these communities for shelter and support. After living among these individuals and hearing their stories I became Interested in analyzing queer escort culture and the role it played in my community, making It the main focus in my work. By imposing figures and juxtaposing painting resolutions, my work aims to provide the viewer with a glimpse into a world of chosen families, unconventional brotherhood, HIV stigma, body feminization, and vulnerability. A world where individuals who are concubines and objects of paramour are depicted in a contemporary light.”

You can view more of his artwork here.
Click here to check out Ricardo’s work on Instagram.

2. George Longoria

“George Longoria is a queer Latinx artist from the Rio Grande Valley. They identify as trans nonbinary and consider their life missions of sex education, mental health awareness, and LGBTQ+ advocacy heavy influencers of their art, regardless of medium. George’s art details the enriching, reclaimative journey of a queer brujx through rituals of the flesh as a defiant assertion of existence. Their splashy colorful depictions of sex toys appear vulgar and outrageous to many, but inserted in to a context of queer intimacy and self actualization, they become familiar friendly tools of self acceptance. The self portraits mark the transitions of acclimation and eventually joy.”

Click here to check out George’s work on Instagram.

3. Verónica Gabriela

“Veronica G. Cardenas is a documentary photographer based in the RGV. Migration issues are recurring themes in her photography, which has been shown at the United Nations, Long Island City Arts among others. Earlier this year Cardenas accompanied the Trans Migrant Caravan from Latin and Central America and documented the efforts. Her work has been featured on El Mundo, Juxtapoz, Texas Observer and Neta to name a few.”

Click here to check out more of Veronica’s work on Instagram.

4. Humberto Treviño

“Body image and being positive about body shape, particularly one’s own, is an issue that plagues not only me, but many other people as well.

In my case growing up, I didn’t care what I looked like or how I expressed myself, it was just something that happened naturally. As I got older and became more aware of my surroundings and the societal standards, I noticed that I wasn’t fitting into this mold that society had established (no pun intended). There are times when I bask in the unique beauty of my “fat” body, but there also come times when I glare at myself in the mirror with disgust and embarrassment that I’m not physically like all of these “beautiful” men and women that I see. The work that I have created explores the depths of my mind and offer a glance into the minds of others.

I intended to produce these works utilizing the one of the disciplines that captivated me during my time as an undergrad at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley: ceramics. My pieces emphasize on (what now feels like) my lifelong struggle with this issue and also show that it is not just me that struggles with this. I also chose to create tiles because being ceramic, they are fragile, and I relate that to how our self-esteem and confidence are also fragile things. My work is an expressive confrontation with my self-esteem, my sadness, my struggle, and my confidence, but also a reassurance that I am not the only person fighting this never ending battle.”

Click here to check out more of Humberto’s work on Instagram.

5. Camilo Garza

“I was born and raised in a border town that obligated me to navigate my entire life balancing the machismo culture of my hometown with my gay identity. In doing so, there have been plenty of times I have repressed my true self to avoid conflict. However, with my artwork, I often, unapologetically, depict themes of gay love. My work is sometimes inspired by personal events, such as being a newlywed, and sometimes by my interest and research of gay history and gay historical figures. It is my hope that my art will help others understand that gay people have always been a part of our shared history, and will continue to be; and that gay love is just as ordinary and extraordinary as any other kind of love.”

Click here to check out more of Camilo’s art on Instagram.

6. Ruxanda Musunoi

“My art is an expression of vulnerability, self exploration, and identity. I never have a plan when I paint, I just let go. Identity is never static, it’s always changing,evolving, transforming; Freedom is having the courage to become who we really are.”

Click here to check out more of Ruxanda’s work on Instagram.

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