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Behind Closed Doors
March 3rd, 2010

Manifest Equality
Manifest Equality Gallery
Los Angeles, CA

Taken from the "Meet The Artist" Blog on the Manifest Equality website.

Why have you chosen to participate in Manifest Equality?

In November 2008 while I was overwhelmed with joy from our success of electing President Obama, I was also crushed and very angry at the passing of the Proposition 8 Ban on Gay Marriage. In the weeks that followed we found out that many of the Californians that voted to pass Proposition 8 were minorities that and also voted to elect President Obama. The key reason being that the church had promoted this as a moral issue. Had the minorities seen it as the Civil Rights issue that it actually is, I feel the out come could have been very different. Misinformation and the lack of knowledge about the issue was a key factor in this happening. I feel Manifest Equality will raise awareness and in turn has an opportunity to inform countless people through art about the importance of civil rights.

Describe a bit about your submission to the gallery or the creative process you are putting into it?

My work for Manifest Equality is titled "Behind Closed Doors" and depicts a classic picnic setting enclosed by the walls of a living room. "Behind Closed Doors" consists of a set of 9 photos of Ryan Inouye and Joseph Imhauser in a picnic setting and was created to reference things Heterosexual couples take for granted, such as having to take an act as innocent as a picnic and hide it behind closed doors due to the general publics reaction to Homosexual affection. While less of an issue here in Los Angeles, much of the country has a negative reaction to a gay couples showing affection in public. Not unlike the issues interracial couples faced in the past and still today in the darkest corners of our country.

The title "Behind Closed Doors" is meant as a reference to the social stigma attached to being gay/lesbian/transgender. The term is often associated with scandalous or unmoral activities; this coupled with the innocent imagery of a simple picnic makes a powerful connection that addresses the absurdity of the stigma.

The first image in the set is a close up of a freshly bitten apple, which has long been associated with a fall from grace or the forbidden fruit in religious texts. I felt this reference was needed due to the church being driving force behind the stigma remaining to this day, and Religious organizations being behind the unconstitutional ban on Gay Marriage in California. The beautiful irony of the fictitious “Forbidden Fruit” was that it is said to have came from the tree of Knowledge.