Pride Month: Lovers Stores Spotlights Three Artists Exalting LGBTQIA Desire
As the 2021 Pride Month winds to an end, we’re certainly reminded that while the worst of the deadly COVID pandemic is mercifully behind us, the struggle for so many other urgencies – economic justice, reproduction rights, and especially LGBTQIA equality – still lay before us.
Of course, art has always had a way of of not only helping to explicate said struggle, but also celebrating what we are struggling for. And while freedom of sexual expression seems still incessantly under threat – a 2020 study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law finds that LGBT people are nearly four times as likely to be the victim of a violent crime in America, a sobering statistic – it’s utterly necessary to celebrate it with as much joy and abandon as possible. (Check out the new Planningtorock single ‘Gay Dreams Do Come True’.)
To that end, Lovers Stores, the most prominent and sophisticated chain of adult pleasure emporiums, created the Lovers Artist Series: Pride Edition, to spotlight queer artists making work that expresses desire in a most exultant, and truly fearless manner. Out of scores of entries, those by Brooklyn’s Jacq Frances, São Paulo’s Jenifer Prince, and Birmingham, UK’s Mazahir Hussain, were selected as “winners” – though surely everyone wins (except those who choose to lose) when we promote open dialogue about LGBTQIA sexuality.
“We created this series to amplify the work of inspiring and transformative queer artists,” explains Jen May, Lovers’ Senior Director Of Marketing, “as well as to support non-profit organizations serving the LGBTQIA+ community. Lovers is committed to creating safe and inclusive spaces for all people to be their authentic selves. This provocative series will continue conversations around visibility, acceptance, and the complexity of pleasure and identity.”
The trio of works are now on sale as individual prints on LoversStores.com for $24 each, or as a 3-pack for $72, until July 9th, 2021. 100% of proceeds will be donated to LGBTQIA+ focused organizations Lambda Legal and APLA Health.
The Artists in Their Own Words
Thunderous Applause (pictured top)
“[Orgasm is] thunderous applause from myself for myself (and perhaps to other romantic partners, but not necessarily). I’ve always liked the idea of lightning shooting out of my pussy like the greek gods did in Fantasia. Of being a goddess in the sky and striking the earth with pleasure, power and electricity.”
“The first thing that always comes to my mind when thinking of ‘orgasm’ is the explosion of senses it brings to our body. I immediately imagined the vintage comic lines of expression surrounding these two women. I always felt validated when I saw a vintage photo or an old painting that hinted at women loving women, so I try to tell our story and our memories through visual narratives that have been stolen from us, and bring joy to whomever might see my work.”
“Afterglow is my favorite part of sex. It’s this dreamy little limbo between sexual rush and coming back to real time, and that was the major theme for this piece. Hence the haloes.
Pride, a celebration of community, can often be a lonely time for those on the fringes. So I hope my work acts as a lighthouse for other South Asian queers, to let them know there’s a safe space waiting for them.”