Gay Art Chicago

Creative queer people tend to fall into one of two camps: Either they embrace LGBT themes in their work, or they downplay any notion of a so-called gay sensibility. More often than not, it's the latter. Chicago Gay artists (or any gay artist for that matter) it seems, don't want to be pigeonholed. In some art forms, it's understandable: Out actors, for example, can't always find work while out directors complain that it's tough getting gay-themed films greenlighted.

But that's not necessarily true for visual artists. After all, many know they won't see commercial success in their lifetime, nor is their chosen form of expression contingent upon being hired or cast by someone else. They have a greater opportunity to push LGBT themes in their work, but does that mean they should-or will?

Kara Wabbel, a 24-year-old visual gay artist in Chicago, is trying to do just that. She paints unabashedly queer-themed gay art in the form of lesbian erotica and is trying to establish a gay-oriented art and peformance venue on the North Side. She doesn't second-guess the LGBT focus of her work. "I'm incredibly attracted to my girlfriend," Wabbel says. "I think she's totally beautiful. I love to paint the things that I love, and I love her. Why wouldn't you want to express that?"

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