Influenced by Catholic Upbringing, Artist’s “Queer Icons” Offer Windows to God

Bondings 2.0

Bruce & Tenzin. 2012, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman

For many Christians, icons are windows to God. They make the Ultimate accessible through divinely-inspired human artistry. Worldly subjects–almost exclusively holy people and their environments–draw readers outward and upward, beyond what is present, towards what is Holy.

Artist Gabriel Garcia Roman’s icons of queer and trans* people of color achieve similar ends for me, employing real people alive today to draw me into greater worship of God. His “Queer Icons” have another purpose too, which is to raise the profiles of these leaders so that young people can gain a sense of hope and security.

The “Queer Icons” closely mirror traditional iconography in their appearance, mixing a range of artistic influences, such as 15th century Dutch artist Jan Van Eycke and contemporary South African photographer Zanele Muholi. In a news article on The Huffington Post, Garcia Roman…

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