Gabriel Garcia Roman

Gabriel Garcia Roman, Kia, 2016 (2017.42.2)

Queer Icons is a series of portraits of individuals who, as defined by Gabriel Garcia Roman, identify as QTPoC –queer and trans people of color. Garcia Roman produces vibrant artworks of his close friends and acquaintances who are working with communities that are underrepresented and trying to gain visibility with the issues they are facing. The portraits reflect a practice that goes back to the representation of saints and styles used in religious painting traditions. Garcia Roman considers his contemporary portraits a safe space for the subjects he depicts, similar to the safety religious saints would exude in the environment they were shown in.

Gabriel Garcia Roman, Jamal, 2016 (2017.42.1)

Garcia Roman creates a context by using language from the subjects themselves in the artworks. Kia is portrait of a multidisciplinary artist and an advocate for communities who are HIV positive and living in New York, where she grew up. On top of the photogravure a poem by Kia has been adhered, to which Garcia Roman applied the chine-collé technique. The artist used the same method for his work Jason, the portrait of a cultural worker and multidisciplinary artist from Brooklyn. The text on the surface of the prints gives the portrayed individuals a voice and reiterates the causes they fight for.

These works were acquired with funds generously provided by the ICP Acquisitions Committee in 2017.


About claartjevandijk

Assistant Curator, Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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