Alex Donis presents an installation of protest signs that depict various duos in arrested movement. Each sign includes a uniformed police officer and a Black or Brown man in suggestive sexual and/or playful dance poses. These illustrations do not attempt to reconcile the contradictions in this coupling, but instead highlight the body’s contours within acts of queer joy.
Learn more about this work’s content and contentious history here: http://alexdonis.com/ART-war/ART-war-LATIMES.html
Alex Donis (b. 1964, Chicago, IL.) is a Los Angeles based artist whose work examines and redefines the boundaries set within religion, politics, race, and sexuality. Interested in toppling societies’ conventional attitudes, his work is often influenced by a tri-cultural (Pop, Latino, and Queer) experience. He has worked extensively in a variety of media including painting, installation, photography, video, and works on paper. He was educated at a Catholic school in East Los Angeles, an east-coast prep school in Massachusetts, and a military academy on the southern coast of Guatemala. He received his undergraduate degree at California State University, Long Beach and his graduate degree from Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles. He has participated in hundreds of national and international individual and group exhibitions, most notably: “Made in California: Art, Image & Identity 1900-2000” at the LA County Museum of Art, “Potentially Harmful: the Art of American Censorship” at Georgia College and State University in Atlanta, GA and The 10th Biennale of Havana, in Havana, Cuba. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Art in America, Flash Art, Artpapers, ArtForum, ArtNews ,the New York Times, and Art and Queer Culture published by Phaidon Press.
The cluster lean against a pre-existing art work by the artist Rosten Woo. Titled “This Park is Made By People,” the commissioned public artwork consists of a 9 sculptural signs, with accompanying audio interviews, that recount the recent history of this park and the story of the Chinatown Yards Alliance, a coalition of that successfully resisted the land’s privatization. The city had a deal in the works with Majestic Realty, “the largest, privately-held developer and owner of master-planned business parks in the United States.” (MajesticRealty.com) In active partnership with Walmart, UPS, and Amazon, Majestic Realty purchases land to build corporate warehouses, often causing traffic and air and noise pollution in the area. According to one sign, the community’s resistance “paved the way for the park you see today!” Situated near the park’s entrance, Donis’s signage, in dialogue with Woo’s existing work, marks public space as constituted, and made possible, by bodies that gather in both real and imagined ways. Charged scenes of queer pleasure stand alongside histories of community organizing, an unexpected union that is propositional and aspirational.
Learn more about the community’s resistance against Majestic Realty here: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2001-apr-17-mn-51949-story.html
Learn more about Rosten Woo’s “This Park is Made By People” here: http://rostenwoo.biz/index.php/stateparks