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OPEN SECRET: Opening Reception featuring the work of Steven Frost & John Parot
May 28, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
About The Show:
For the exhibition Open Secret, the artists Steven Frost and John Parot present a body sculptures, textiles, and paintings that celebrates the open secrets of days past and look to the closet a place of strange magic. Frost engages with the life of Liberace creating sequin soaked sculptures and paintings inspired by designs from his Palm Springs home. Parot imagines the view from inside and outside the closet with his Eyes Open series. Constructing flamboyant fabric eyes with and confrontational fabric patterns. Their choice of shiny and bright costume materials shows us the social contract that allowed “open secrets” was about a society that enforced its own standards but at the same time wanted to see an alternative more glamorous world.
What has the closet become in a modern context? For many it’s a threat or a underhanded accusation of cowardice thrown at politicians and actors. “To be in the closet” or on the “down low” is marked by shame and those that leave the closet are celebrated as brave. However historically the closet was a place where public figures like Liberace could signify their queerness without admitting to it. There was a social contract until the 1990’s that as long as people didn’t acknowledge their queerness with words and ask for equal standing under the law, they could live without prosecution. This is what has been called an “open secret.”
Special set by DJ 5fathoms
Wine and snacks provided by The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach.
About John Parot
Los Angeles based Artist John Parot was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1970. He has a B.F.A. from Northern Illinois University and a M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art. John has exhibited all over the United States with artwork shown at Bellwether in Brooklyn, Jack Hanley in San Francisco, Locust Projects in Miami, and galleries in New York, L.A, Chicago, Dallas and D.C. In 2002 John was chosen to participate in Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art 12×12 exhibition series. . He is a recipient of a full scholarship from Skowhegan and in 2004 he received grants from the Illinois Art Council and Artadia.
In addition to artworks his designs have been featured on business logos, T-shirts, album covers and in 2002 he was commissioned by Mini Cooper to design a limited edition rooftop for their signature car. More Recently you can see his original design on the cover of Penguin’s reissue of the book “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells. This image was featured on the Bravo T.V. show “Work of Art, the Next Great Artist.”
About Steven Frost
Steven Frost (b. Woodsville, NH) lives in Long Beach, CA and tells the stories of hidden histories through objects and performances. He sources archival materials to help audiences engage with and remember forgotten narratives.
Through craft processes and theory he connects with the political, social, and formal histories of underrepresented groups. Specifically, he uses low-craft or cheap materials like pleather, sequins, and pipe-cleaners. He selects these materials because their value comes not from the material itself but from the context he gives them.
Frost received his BFA from Alfred University, NY State College of Ceramics and Design in 2004 and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. Native to rural Vermont, Frost moved to Long Beach from Chicago in 2012. His videos, fiber-based objects, performances, and installation work have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Frost is the recipient of the 2009 Lenore Tawney Prize and a semi-finalist for the 2011 Annenberg Fellowship.