news release FRONT Artist Nicholas Buffon to Speak at the Akron Art Museum
For Release: September 13, 2018
Akron, Ohio—Artist Nicholas Buffon created a series of drawings in which he placed himself outside of LGBTQ landmarks like the Stonewall Inn and Big Gay Ice Cream in New York, where he lives. For the presentation of his drawings and sculptures featured in FRONT: An American City at the Akron Art Museum, Buffon expanded the series to include locations in Akron like Tear-Ez and the Interbelt Nite Club. He also created a sculpture of Planned Parenthood in Cleveland along with drawings of other Northeast Ohio locations. On Thursday, September 20, at 6:30 P.M. the artist will visit Akron to talk about his work and participate in a dialogue with members of the businesses and organizations he has depicted. The artist talk is free and open to all.
Akron Art Museum Chief Curator Ellen Rudolph said, “By depicting queer spaces in Akron and inserting himself in those scenes, Buffon is showing connection and solidarity with the gay community in Akron.”
“I’ve been thinking of subtle ways to portray resistance in this fractious political moment,” states Buffon. “How I see it, strength and resilience are where community exists. So I’ve started painting slices of my community, starting with gay bars closest to me, both historic and contemporary.”
Buffon creates his imagery from “a soup of online resources” including Google Maps and Street View, Google image searches, Yelp reviews and public Facebook pages, intermingling imagery and details from different periods in his compositions.
Rudolph said, “Because Buffon sources images of locations he hasn’t visited from various online platforms, he is aware that some images are outdated and intentionally combines past and present in his images as a way of embracing the history of a place.”
Buffon often places himself in the drawings, interacting with other people outside the iconic locations or alone, as a humorous observer or visitor. He says, “The figures in the paintings are also a mix of my experiences and a random sampling of strangers that happen to be walking by in source photographs. I used a cartoon of myself to populate many of the paintings. The cartoon self implies an ownership or even assumed affiliation with the building.”
Seventeen of Buffon’s drawings and two sculptures are on display as part of FRONT: An American City at the Akron Art Museum through September 30, 2018.
For more information about FRONT: An American City, visit frontart.org or akronartmuseum.org. Join the conversation on social media with #FRONTart2018 and follow the museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.