The Gutter Art of Stephen Varble is Coming to WeHo’s ONE Gallery

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Don’t miss “The Gutter Art of Stephen Varble: Genderqueer Performance Art in the 1970s, Photographs by Greg Day” going on exhibit at the ONE Gallery, West Hollywood. The show will run from March 1, 2019 – May 17, 2019. There will be an opening reception on Friday, March 1, 2019, 5:00pm–8:00pm at ONE Gallery, West Hollywood, 626 North Robertson Boulevard.

This exhibition focuses on the collaboration of genderqueer performance artist Stephen Varble with the photographer Greg Day. It explores the ways in which Varble’s disruptive guerilla performance art has lived on through vibrant photographs that captured his inventive costumes, transformed trash, and public confrontations.

In costumes made from street trash, food waste, and stolen objects, Stephen Varble (1946–1984) took to the streets of 1970s New York City to perform his “Gutter Art.” While maintaining he/him as his pronouns, Varble performed gender as an open question in both his life and his work, sometimes identifying as a female persona, Marie Debris, and sometimes playing up his appearance as a gay man. Only later would the term “genderqueer” emerge to describe the kind of self-made, non-binary gender options that Varble adopted throughout his life.

IMAGE: GREG DAY, STEPHEN VARBLE IN THE DEMONSTRATION COSTUME WITH ONLY ONE SHOE (FOR THE CHEMICAL BANK PROTEST), 22 MARCH 1976. DIGITAL PRINT, 2018. © GREG DAY, 2019.

At the pinnacle moment of Varble’s public performances, the photographer Greg Day (b. 1944) captured the inventiveness and energy of Varble’s genderqueer costume confrontations. The story of Varble told through Day’s photographs is both about their synergistic artistic friendship and about the queer networks and communities that made such an anti-institutional and genderqueer practice imaginable. Together, Varble and Day worked to preserve the radical potential of Gutter Art for the future.

The Gutter Art of Stephen Varble builds upon the 2018 retrospective exhibition of Stephen Varble’s work at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York, titled Rubbish and Dreams: The Genderqueer Performance Art of Stephen Varble, as featured in the New York Times on January 11, 2019.

For more about this exhibition and the opening reception, please visit the link in our bio. The Gutter Art of Stephen Varble: Genderqueer Performance Art in the 1970s, Photographs by Greg Day is curated by David J. Getsy. “The Gutter Art of Stephen Varble: Genderqueer Performance Art in the 1970s, Photographs by Greg Day”, is organized by the ONE Archives Foundation, Inc.

To learn more, click here.

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