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John Paradiso


John Paradiso earned a BFA at the State University of New York (Purchase) and his MFA at the State University of New York (Buffalo). He is a mixed media artist and describes his work as metaphorical and based upon such issues as identity, sexuality, health, and love. He has a portfolio of seven photographs in the National Picture Collection at the Library of Congress. John has served as a health educator and caregiver in the HIV/AIDS community for over twenty years where he developed educational programs and provided pier-based counseling. He currently works for the Gateway Community Development Corporation as their Arts and Community Development officer and is an Artist-in-Residence at the Washington Hospital Center working with adult cancer patients, their families and caregivers.

Artist Statement/Focus

My art is an on-going exploration of gay male identity and the intimacy between men. At times the work is a statement about my experience navigating a sex-positive lifestyle among a prevalence of sex-negative messages. At other times the work is my way to process the honoring of my feminine side while struggling to be more masculine. SERIES INFO: I have been creating the SEW MANY MEN, MEN WORKING and PAPER QUILT series over the past several years. They combine images of men and masculinity with referencing working methods that are considered traditionally feminine, such as sewing, embroidery, hand quilting, collage and scrap booking. In the SEW MANY MEN series, I hand stitch contour drawings of men taken from gay male pornography. Pornography, for me, has been both a sexual outlet and a place to find inspiration. As a young gay man, pornography served as my first gay sexual education. This series takes the overt sexuality of pornography and places it into the context of nostalgia, the home sewn, and a more romantic point of view. In the MENWORKING series, quilts are made of items found at construction sites, images of men appropriated from the internet and fabrics with pansy prints. Men Working, Caution, Danger Do Not Enter are some of the signs and symbols I use metaphorically to refer to messages influenced by disease and homophobia. I use images from the internet to reference sexual exploration in modern life for gay men. The pansy fabrics speak to derogatory slurs, while helping to make the pieces pretty. In the PAPER QUILT series, I print images of men on paper and collage the pieces together. I use machine stitching for detail then mount the piece on wood panels.

E-mail sewmanymen@gmail.com
Phone 202-487-8458
Web Links Website
Location 4301 Rhode Island Ave.
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Entry Added ByJohn Paradiso | Entry #287

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