Ria Brodell

RiaBrodell9

Self-Portrait as Freddie Mercury, circa 1985

RiaBrodell8

Self Portrait as Miami Vice Dude

Artist Ria Brodell aspired to don Freddy Mercury’s tight white jeans and signature ‘stache, and the Miami Vice Dude’s cool calypso-linen pantsuit rather than play princess or tea party. What I love most about her achingly sincere self-portraits posing as dubious icons of masculinity is the tangled web of complications it weaves. What does it mean for a queer woman to paint herself in goache as Carey Grant, a gay man playing a straight man in sexuality-restricted 1950′s Hollywood? Hmm….what do you guys think? Any of you boys rather play with Barbie than GI Joe’s?