June is LGBT Pride Month. And in the upcoming days, the streets of San Francisco will be inundated with rainbow flags. Since 1970, San Francisco has celebrated the queer community through its annual San Francisco Pride Parade. This year mark’s SF Pride’s 44th year and as always, it will be held during the last weekend of June.
San Francisco has historically been a pioneering city for LBGTQ rights and continues to be a sanctuary for the queer community today. For these reasons, the city serves as the perfect canvas for artist Jeremy Novy’s work. Sprawled throughout the SoMA district, Novy’s work generally highlights the queer community.
Based in San Francisco, Novy is one of the trailblazers of the queer street art scene. In a time where queer art hadn’t yet found prominence in the street art scene, Novy pushed to create a space for himself. According to Novy’s website, “street art itself is a dominantly male heterosexual community; being out of the closet is not accepted.” He notes that in the beginning, many gay street artists’ were stolen or damaged and their works defaced. Despite these challenges, Novy has broken barriers through his street art and shows.
In 2011, Novy curated the world’s first queer art street exhibit called “A History of Queer Street Art.” His intention with this project was to bring a voice to the queer art community. This project highlighted the queer communities struggles to find acceptance and displayed how they channeled it through their street art – from murals, public works, posters to stickers. “A History of Queer Street Art” was revolutionary for its time and has set the stage for future queer artists to breakout.
Novy’s chosen medium is stencilized street art. He utilizes a flour and wheat paste to overlay stenciled posters over abandoned or unused spots that need more life. As many as 2,000 of his stenciled koi fish can be found throughout the city, including commissioned pieces for the Yuerba Buena Arts Center. His other pieces include pop culture and bondage inspired art.
To learn more about Jeremy Novy, visit http://www.jeremynovystencils.com/