At this time of deep political fracture in the US, the story of gay Jewish artist Cary Leibowitz needs to be heard
Cary Leibowitz – also known as Candyass – belongs to Loser Art, a self-ironising, self-reflexive and at times self-loathing style that emerged in the 1990s. Also an exponent of what critics have dubbed ‘pathetic aesthetic’, Leibowitz narrates his experiences as a gay Jewish artist in mainstream American society with searing self-truths. It hardly needs to be said that, at this time of deep political fracture in the US, these are stories that need to be heard.
And Leibowitz doesn’t just tell his story. He yells it. His works are recalcitrant one-liners, imperatives and exclamations painted in unavoidable blues and pinks. ‘Don’t HATE Me Because I’m Mediocre’ shouts one painting, ‘GO FAGS!’ screams another. You can’t help but think these painted wooden panels would be better off gallery walls and out on the streets at the protests.