Now on view at Paris London Hong Kong, Learning to Cry Like River in Spring is a new series of paintings by Colombian artist Leonardo Kaplan. This body of work is based on a series of public service announcements that were printed on the backs of the gay pulp erotica magazine First Hand Experiences For Loving Men during the 1980’s and 1990’s. The announcements were intended to encourage open and positive dialogue about HIV and AIDS, as well as defining acceptance for queerness in general. The artworks themselves are produced by scanning the highly distressed surfaces of the original magazines, and creating a hand-applied transfer, which is then applied to a sanded gessoed canvas. The enlarged scale humanizes the featured subjects, and heightens the physical affectation of these image objects, as well as their production value, materiality, and economy.
Leonardo Kaplan is a Chicago-based Colombian artist. He has exhibited locally with New Capital Projects and the Graham Foundation, at Basketshop, Cincinnati; the Freies Museum, Berlin; and has been represented by ACRE projects at NADA Miami. He previously co-directed two artist-run spaces, The Hills Esthetic Center and BOYFRIENDS.