These L.A. Artists Are Bringing Queer Perspectives Into Focus

Zackary Drucker, Catherine Opie, Rafa Esparza, and others are grabbing the spotlight

Long relegated to the margins of the art world, LGBTQ artists have always tested the borders of expression. Now they’re claiming their place at center stage.

Zackary Drucker’s videos delight in deconstructing gender binaries (she’s also a producer on Transparent). Nao Bustamante’s bodycentric art takes on ethnicity, gender, and politics in surprising, often humorous ways.

Rick Castro shoots fetishistic, highly stylized photos of men in varying states of undress. Performance artist Rafa Esparza has buried himself in dirt and concrete in the name of civil rights. Vietnamese-born Phuc Le is a master portraitist who creates elaborate digital works.

Artist and curator Rubén Esparza founded L.A.’s Queer Biennale, a survey of LGBTQ art that’s expanded to New York and Paris. Part bodybuilder, part conceptual artist, Cassils pushes physical forms to their extreme.

Elliot Reed’s playful, personal performances are as funny as they are fascinating. Marval A Rex manipulates materials like mirrors and mud into disruptive tableaus. Mexican-born Miguel Angel Reyes creates seductive images with a distinct Tom of Finland sensibility.

Leading the pack is famed art photographer Catherine Opie, who has turned her lens on everything from landscapes to “leather dykes” over her more than three-decade career.

RELATED: LGBTQ Icons and Iconoclasts Who Are Shaping Culture in L.A. and Beyond

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