Leslie Lohman Museum



Gonzalo Orquin - Sí, quiero

Press Information
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Gonzalo Orquin - Sí, quiero


From the series Trialogo, by Gonzalo Orquin, 2013,

Si, quiero

Exhibition dates: April 30, 2014 through June 24, 2014
Opening Reception: May 6, 2014 6-8 pm

[New York – FeParil, 2014] The Leslie-Lohman Museum’s Wooster St. Window Gallery will present Si, quiero, (I do) a site-specific installation of work by Rome based artist Gonzalo Orquin. This installation re-creates the artist's images that were scheduled to be exhibited at a private gallery in Rome in late 2013. However, the exhibition never occurred because authorities at the Vatican objected to the original photographs and threatened legal action against the gallery. The Vatican claimed the images showed “expressions of affection that do not belong in a place of worship.” The Leslie-Lohman Museum installation will be on view and visible from the street in the Wooster St. Window Gallery 24 hours-a- day.

Orquin’s photographs feature same-sex couples kissing in beautiful baroque Italian churches. According to the artist, who identifies as Catholic, “If you look closely at my pictures, no one can find blasphemy or sacrilege. A kiss is a gesture of love, of tenderness between human beings.” As quoted in a recent interview in the Advocate, Orquin stated that the LGBTQ community “may be ashamed to publicly demand their rights. Politicians are busy with other things and then there is the church. Every day there is a bishop or cardinal who goes on TV to say that homosexuals are sick and the natural family needs to be protected. I feel deep anger and shame every time a member of the church insults me in this way. I pray that God will forgive them and I have faith that Pope Francis will help us, why not?"

However, the Vatican did not want the images displayed. As reported in the Huffington Post, Vicariate spokesman Claudio Tanturri said the photos violate the Italian constitution. “Italian constitutional law safeguards an individual’s religious feelings and the function of places of worship. Therefore photos that are not suitable and do not conform to the spirituality of the place offend and infringe upon the advancement of man in the particular place for the expression of faith." See below for a complete translation of the Vatican’s letter.

Leslie-Lehman Museum Director Hunter O’Hanian says, “This was a very simple decision for us. We heard that the work, these lovely images of people kissing in beautiful settings, was being denied access and we wanted to do something about it. In part, it is why this Museum exists. We offer opportunities to show work that others won’t, particularly work that speaks to the gay and lesbian community. These photographs present same-sex couples displaying the same rights that should be fundamental and basic to all.”

The installation at the Leslie-Lohman Museum will contain eight 36 x 74 inch banners in each of the Gallery’s window.

Translation of Letter from the Vatican to the owners of the gallery in Rome that attempted to exhibit the images:

"We have learned from the press that you are planning soon to open an exhibition with the title 'Trialogo', comprising a number of pictures that are not approved by the competent church authorities, showing expressions of affection that do not belong in a place of worship. In accordance with the law, we herewith formally caution the gallery for contemporary art not to show photos or images which are offensive and harmful to the religious feelings of individuals, to the nature of worship in the Church and to the official religious Confession.

"We warn that if the present caution is not punctually complied with, the Church authorities will not hesitate to have full recourse to the law and in particular to take action in the competent legal courts in order to protect all legal interests and violated rights."


About the artist
Born in Seville (Spain) in 1982, Gonzalo Orquin studied at Fine Arts University of Seville (2000-2004) and Fine Arts Academy Pietro Vanucci at the University of Perugia, Italy (2005). Since 2004 he has lived and worked in Italy. As a painter, his work have been described as domestic, intimate, and romantic. Set in common place interiors of muted tones, his subjects include solitary men and women, as well as gay and straight couples often displaying a contemplative depth of emotion. An exhibition of his work is currently on display at Mooiman Galerie in Groningen, Netherlands.

About the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
“...invaluable museum.” Holland Cotter, New York Times, June 2013
Best place for gay culture, Time Out New York: New York's Best 2012

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is the first and only dedicated LGBTQ art museum in the world with a mission to exhibit and preserve LGBTQ art, and foster the artists who create it. The Museum has a permanent collection of over 22,000 objects, 6-8 major exhibitions annually, artist talks, film screenings, readings, THE ARCHIVE - a quarterly art newsletter, a membership program, and a research library. The Leslie-Lohman Museum is operated by the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Inc., a non-profit founded in 1987 by Charles W. Leslie and Fritz Lohman, who have supported gay and lesbian artists for over 30 years. The Leslie-Lohman Museum embraces the rich creative history of the LGBTQ art community by informing, inspiring, entertaining, and challenging all who enter its doors.

The Museum is located at 26 Wooster Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. Admission is free, and hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 12-6 pm, and Thursday, 12-8 pm. The Museum is closed Monday and all major holidays. The Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization and is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code. The Museum can be reached at 212- 431-2609. For more information, go to LeslieLohman.org.

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