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  • Art Gallery of New South Wales Art Gallery Road Sydney, NSW, 2000 Australia (map)

Presented in 2017 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in association with the exhibition Adman: Warhol before pop, Mardi Gras' QUEER THINKING series provides new perspectives of identity and equality. 

Day 1: Queer Warhol

Philip Pearlstein Andy Warhol in New York City c1949 Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Used by permission. 

Philip Pearlstein
Andy Warhol in New York City c1949
Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Used by permission. 

By looking closely at issues of sexuality in Andy Warhol’s art, photography, film and writing, scholar Richard Meyer proposes a ‘Queer Warhol’ whose legacy continues to shape the work of LGBT artists on the global stage. 

Richard Meyer is Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor of Art History at Stanford University and the author, most recently, of What Was Contemporary Art? and co-author with Catherine Lord of Art and Queer Culture.

After Meyer’s talk, there’s Andy and me, a panel discussion with Australian contemporary artists addressing the influences of both Andy Warhol and their queer identities on their artistic practices. Hosted by Barry Keldoulis, CEO of Sydney Contemporary, the panel features artists Deborah Kelly, Josh Feeney, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran and Claudia Nicholson.

Saturday 25 February
Domain Theatre, Art Gallery of NSW

Important note: Your Queer Warhol ticket price includes a ticket to the exhibition Adman: Warhol before pop. Tickets for Adman are dated and timed, so you will need to specify a date and time between Saturday 25 and Tuesday 28 February when booking.


MC: Barry Keldoulis

Barry Keldoulis has had more than three decades experience in the world of contemporary art. Barry started his career in New York where he worked as the Private Secretary and Chief of Staff for the Honorable Henry Geldzahler, Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of New York, and the first Curator of 20th Century Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After 15 years in America and Europe, Barry returned to Australia where he worked at Djamu, a branch of the Australian Museum, dedicated to exhibiting their Indigenous collections alongside contemporary Indigenous art. Barry then entered the commercial world as a Senior Manager, Collections Development for Sherman Galleries.

In 2003, he opened his own gallery to fill a gap in opportunity for young artists to exhibit between artist-run spaces and the major commercial galleries. Artists from his stable are represented in all the state galleries and the National Gallery of Australia, and now exhibit in museums and private galleries around the world. In 2013 Barry was appointed the CEO and Director of Sydney Contemporary, Australasia’s international art fair. Barry was also the Chairman of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), resigning in 2016 to run as a Senate candidate for the recently formed Arts Party, in the federal election.

Josh Feeney

Josh Feeney is the founder of My People | My Tribe a community group focused on telling and sharing LGBTQ+ stories. In 2016 he created #barenakedtruth, a photo project of nude portraits of LGBTQ+ people sharing their honest stories, in response to the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Flordia. Feeney continues to expand the #barenakedtruth project around the world with the aim of humanising the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. #barenakedtruth will be featured as the face of Mardi Gras 2017.

Remesh Mario Nithiyendran

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran is a contemporary artist based in Sydney, Australia. He has exhibited at various spaces and contexts including the Art Gallery of South Australia's flagship exhibition, the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art as well as presenting solo exhibitions at the National Gallery of Australia, The Ian Potter Museum of Art and the Shepparton Art Museum. In 2014, Nithiyendran was awarded the 2014 NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (emerging). In 2015, he was the winner of the 2015 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award, Australia’s richest and premier award for artists working in the medium of ceramics. Forthcoming exhibitions include The National: New Australian Art (Carriageworks) and the 2018 Dhaka Art Summit. His work is held in various collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, Artbank and the Shepparton Art Museum. 

Deborah Kelly

Deborah Kelly is a Sydney-based artist whose works have been shown around Australia, and in the Singapore, Sydney, Thessaloniki, Venice and TarraWarra Biennales.

Her projects across media are concerned with lineages of representation, politics and history in public exchange.

Kelly's collage-based artworks have been shown in galleries and cinemas around Europe, Asia and the Americas. Her epic collaborative collage portrait project No Human Being Is Illegal (in all our glory) is touring Australian regional galleries until 2018.

She won the 2015 Cayte Latta Award for LGBTI Visual Arts, the 2013 Redlands Art Prize Audience Award, the 2012 Albury Art Prize, the 2009 Fisher’s Ghost Award, the 2009 Screengrab International New Media Art Award, and with, the 2004 WINK Award. Her memorial work Tank Man Tango was shortlisted for the Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest, and her collaboration with Tina Fiveash, Hey, Hetero! won the 2001 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras visual art award.

Claudia Nicholson

In 2014 Nicholson participated in the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Beijing studio residency with Shen Shaomin spending a month as a guest in Shaomin’s home and studio. In 2015 she was awarded the Freedman Foundation Travelling Art Scholarship and travelled to Guatemala to research the sawdust carpets and to investigate Cholo and Chicano culture in Los Angeles. Last year she was part of safARI festival, a resident at Casula Power House and produced work for Dark Mofo festival at MONA. She recently worked on the project ‘Women of Fairfield’ commissioned by C3West, MCA, PYT and STARTTS, was a finalist in the Glenfiddich Artist residency prize and won the sculpture category of the 2016 Fishers Ghost award at Campbelltown Arts Centre. This year Claudia has been commissioned by Carriageworks to make new work for the first iteration of The National.

Tony Albert

Tony Albert’s art practice interrogates contemporary legacies of colonialism in a way that prompts the audience to contemplate elemental aspects of the human condition. Mining imagery and source material from across the globe and drawing upon personal and collective histories, Albert questions how we understand, imagine and construct difference. Certain political themes and visual motifs resurface across his oeuvre, including thematic representations of the ‘outsider’ and Aboriginalia (a term the artist coined to describe kitschy objects and images that feature naive portrayals of Aboriginality).

Albert has exhibited his work at many international venues, including the Musée d’Aquitaine, Bordeaux, France; the Singapore Art Museum; the National Museum of China, Beijing; and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel. He was also included in the 10th Biennial of Havana, Cuba, and the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Dark Heart.

Earlier Event: February 25
I Remember House
Later Event: February 25
#getwett for Mardi Gras