Being Queer

About the Artwork

“This work starts a conversation about being queer in society. It represents a self that is lost when one is gay and queer and surviving in a society full of rules, obligations and, on the top of everything else, government laws. One finds it very difficult to live peacefully; one lives with fear; the sense of freedom is missing. There is discomfort in the way one lives with family, with friends, with office colleagues and with one’s social circle. These hidden-identity images create a conversation about queer life in Indian culture and society.”

Dheeraj Kumar hails from Muzzaffarpur, Bihar, India. A fashion designer turned photographer/artist, he aspires to express through the camera his personal approach to life, beauty and art. Inspired by artists like Frida Kahlo, Robert Mapplethorpe and Henry Moore, he uses the body as a canvas on which to superimpose different ornamentations, ranging from botanical drawings to masks and markings inspired by Rangoli artwork. Through elaborate and meticulous staging, he exposes the landscapes of the human body and its nooks and crannies that carry traces of untapped or concealed emotions. He currently divides his time between Bangalore and Bihar.


1 thought on “Being Queer”

  1. Thank you for your courage to express the beauty and fear of the queer male body so vividly. Blood and distortion, yet strength and vivacity. I was particularly moved by your description of survival under “government laws.” My beloved step-father, a NASA astrobiologist, died in the closet, a hidden self unable to reach for the stars. I still feel sick whenever I hear the name “Webb” attached to the telescope. May you continue to expand your visions across cultural, physical, and emotional boundaries, acting up, acting over.

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