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Art From The Heart

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New York visitors shouldn’t miss these two new exhibitions that tackle AIDS in different ways

Finding Thek
Paul Thek, an iconic gay American artist who died of AIDS complications in 1988, is the subject of an exhibition at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art that looks at his life through his early art, illustrating what it was like to be gay in the 1950s. The works come from a personal collection and have never been exhibited before, says museum rep Steve Deitsch, and the exhibit also includes works by other artists in his inner circle, showing how they influenced each other.

While Thek became both famous and infamous in the mid-to-late 1960s for his “Meat Pieces” (handmade slabs of realistic-looking flesh encased in plastic), the work created by Thek earlier in his career shows a very different artist, described by the museum as “a precociously sensitive draftsman who captured his lover asleep naked, making work that was both openly gay and often manifestly erotic.” Admission is free; April 12–July 7. LeslieLohman.org

Fighting Back
A new exhibit at the New York Historical Society uses artifacts to tell the story of the early years of AIDS, when activists rallied to push government to take action. The show, “AIDS in New York: The First Five Years,” runs from June 7 to September 15 at the society’s museum in New York City. Admission is normally $15, but on Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. it’s pay-as-you-wish. NYHistory.org

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Sunnivie Brydum

Editor

Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.

Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.