Posted on October 8, 2021
Joey Terrill, A Bigger Piece, c. 2008, mixed media. Courtesy the artist and Ortuzar Projects, New York
Independent Curators International (ICI) is pleased to announce a new collaboration with Los Angeles-based artist Joey Terrill to produce this year’s commissioned limited edition in conjunction with ICI’s Benefit in a Box. As ICI’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Benefit in a Box brings elements of an ICI Benefit into the comfort of supporters’ homes and features commissioned limited-editions and multiples by artists who reflect the diversity of voices that make up ICI’s programs.
For over four decades, Terrill has been a critical voice as a Chicano HIV-positive queer man through both his art and advocacy. He is best-known for the T-shirts he produced for friends to wear in the 1976 Gay Pride parade on Hollywood Boulevard with the words maricón and malflora (Spanish slang words for “faggot” and “dyke”) written across the chest in a radical act of representation. Working across painting, drawing, collage, and zine production, Terrill’s work is personal, fearless and rich in storytelling, and a touchstone for Latinx queer artists today.
Featured prominently in ICI’s touring exhibition Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A., curated by C. Ondine Chavoya and David Evans Frantz, Terrill’s work has seen a reexamination since the exhibition debuted. Originally part of Pacific Standard Time LA/LA in 2017, Axis Mundo has traveled to seven additional venues throughout the United States, bringing new attention to Terrill’s work with every stop. This historical exhibition is the first of its kind to excavate histories of experimental art practice, collaboration, and exchange by a group of Los Angeles based queer Chicanx artists between the late 1960s and early 1990s; and it marks the first historical consideration and significant showing of many of these pioneering artists’ work. The exhibition is currently on view at moCa Cleveland, where it will close its monumental tour in January 2022.
Image: Joey Terrill at Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. installed at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, UNLV, Las Vegas, 2019. Photo by Josh Hawkins/UNLV Creative Services. Courtesy of Marjorie Barrick and ICI.
For ICI’s commissioned limited edition, Terrill will produce a work inspired by his emblematic painting A Bigger Piece, c. 2008 from his long-running Still-Life series. Borrowing from Pop art still lifes, and infusing them with queer and Mexican imagery from his Chicano origins, Terrill embeds a blue HIV treatment pill among a Mexican blanket on a tabletop, a sunflower, fruit, and a bottle of liquor to bring the foreign and unfamiliar into a more recognizable domestic space. Terrill shares, “I like to think that I am both expanding the definition of what constitutes Chicano Art and making art about AIDS that doesn’t look like art about AIDS.”
Produced exclusively for ICI’s Benefit in a Box, Terrill’s limited edition will first be available to Benefit in a Box purchasers at the Leadership and Global Circle levels. ICI will host a private tour of Terrill’s New York Times must-see solo exhibition at Ortuzar Projects on Saturday, October 9 led by Susanna Temkin, curator at El Museo del Barrio, where A Bigger Piece was recently featured in the ESTAMOS BIEN–LA TRIENAL 20/21. The limited edition will then be featured at ICI’s booth at NADA Miami 2021, where it will be made available to the public for the first time.
Joey Terrill (b. 1955) lives and works in Los Angeles, California, where he is Director of Global Advocacy & Partnerships for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. His solo exhibitions include Just What is it That Makes Today’s Homos So Different, So Appealing?, ONE Gallery, West Hollywood (2013); Worlds of Art (with Theresa Rojas), Ohio Union, Ohio State University, Columbus (2013); Chico Moderno, Norris Fine Art Gallery, Los Angeles (1993); Gronk & Joey, Score Bar, Los Angeles (1984); and Chicanos Invade New York, Windows on White Street, New York (1981). His work has featured in the institutional surveys ESTAMOS BIEN – LA TRIENAL 20/21, El Museo Del Barrio, New York (2020–21); Touching History: Stonewall 50, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs (2019); Through Positive Eyes, Fowler Museum, University of California, Los Angeles (2019); Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A., Museum of Contemporary Art at Pacific Design Center and ONE Gallery, Los Angeles; and ASCO: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972–1987, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2011).