It’s rare to find a gay artist whose work is strongly informed by his sexuality, has political resonance and yet is still a huge success in the wider art world. Michael Petry is that rare exception and – to celebrate his current show at the Palm Springs Art Museum – he has compiled around a decade of his work into a new book.
The Touch of the Oracle charts Petry’s installations and artworks from 2003 to the present with our favourite still being the stunning Monument to the Unknown Soldier: Portrait of an American Patriot, above. A flag that flew over the United States Capitol is embroidered with pearls in the pattern of a cum shot provided by an anonymous gay soldier serving in Iraq yet unable to reveal his sexuality for fear of expulsion. As a visual comment on the Don’t Ask, Don’t tell policy of the time, protest symbolism doesn’t get much more powerful than this.
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Check out the book at The Touch of the Oracle
For more information see Michaelpetry.net