March 20, 2017

Featured Contributor: Amanda Kirkhuff

A few times a season, we like to reach out to a current or former Open Space contributor and find out what they’ve been up to. Artist Amanda Kirkhuff last published work here in 2013.

Amanda Kirkhuff, Hippolyte, 2016; oil on canvas, 61" x 49".

Amanda Kirkhuff, Hippolyte, 2016; oil on canvas, 61″ x 49″.

So, Amanda, what have you been up to?

Thanks for asking. I just finished a two month stay in Los Angeles, where I had a solo show at LAST Projects titled Militant Friction. It was about the functionality of homosexual militancy, among other things.

Amanda Kirkhuff, Jody Lynn Bowman, 2015; oil on canvas, 46" x 71".

Amanda Kirkhuff, Jody Lynn Bowman, 2015; oil on canvas, 46″ x 71″.

Amanda Kirkhuff, Lesbian In A Gay Bar, 2016; oil on canvas, 57" x 43".

Amanda Kirkhuff, Lesbian In A Gay Bar, 2016; oil on canvas, 57″ x 43″.

Has anything (artist, artwork, event) in the Bay Area been particularly inspiring to you lately?

I am a big fan of Siobhan Aluvalot’s art and events; she is a DJ and artist who recently collaborated on buying/saving The Stud Bar, and the programming there is so fun. Brontez Purnell is always killing it. His new novel Since I Laid My Burden Down comes out on Feminist Press in June, and he has dance and art events pretty much constantly. Follow him on social media, where there are event dates available; he is also so charming and dirty, so it’s really a win-win. And Craig Calderwood is one of my favorite visual artists.

Image credit: Siobhan Aluvalot, January 3, 2017, 2017; collage.

Image credit: Siobhan Aluvalot, January 3, 2017, 2017; collage.

In your 2013 “Collection Rotation” (now “Impermanent Collection”) post, you gather artworks that confront or reflect the erasure and/or absence of women and artists of color from art history. Since then, have you discerned any movements, individual artists, organizations, or arts-adjacent entities that you think are doing innovative or unprecedented work to combat that disparity?

The movement never rests, but until we see a tangible institutional shift, women and artists of color will continue to face discrimination in the art market. One small step towards fixing this is by simply hiring women of color in gatekeeping positions within arts organizations. I love Kimberly Drew’s influence on the Met Museum as their manager of social media. She is incredibly innovative, and she and the museum amplify each other’s voices.

What’s next for you?

I’m making big paintings about gay bars and bathhouses. I just built this fake sauna in my studio to pose models in, it will be the backdrop for my next painting:

I have been thinking a lot about the role the gay community is playing in the revolution. The gay community’s collective actions in supporting intersectional progress has, at times, failed. Like it or not, I am a part of this legacy and I owe it some extra reflection. My next body of work is about these ideas. I have a solo show coming up at Seattle’s city-run gallery 4Culture, and a show in November with artist Clyde Petersen.

All my upcoming events are posted on my News Page here.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Buy my zine! Free shipping, babe.

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