from the Rainbow aphorism series 1994
computer generated colour laserprint
37.6 x 28.4 cm (image) 38.6 x 29.4 cm (sheet)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
© David McDiarmid/Licensed by VISCOPY, Sydney
I never saw art as being a safe thing. I know that exists but that's not something that involves me. David McDiarmid, 1993
Defying classification, the work of David McDiarmid encompasses the complex and interconnected histories of art, craft, fashion, music, sex, gay liberation and identity politics; happily residing in the spaces between high and low art, popular culture and community engagement. At once kaleidoscopic, celebratory and darkly humorous in tone, the artist’s idiosyncratic, highly personal and at times, confessional work highlights the redefinition and deconstruction of identities – "from camp to gay to queer" – drawing on the experiences of a life intensely lived in Melbourne, Sydney and New York. Charting the shifts in politics and individual and community expression that unfold across the decades of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, this exhibition also reveals McDiarmid’s artistic and grassroots political response to the impact of HIV / AIDS during the 1980s and beyond, for which he is best known internationally.