Curated by Sarina Meuleman and Fiona Sweet
Steven Arnold (1943 – 1994) was a quintessential icon ahead of his time – a revolutionary figure whose ideas and legacy have become strongly relevant in the cultural conversation of today. Pioneering artist and protégé of Salvador Dali, Arnold seamlessly weaved portals into the world of glamour, camp, celebrity and creativity, enchanting viewers through his enigmatic images.
Capturing the mystical spirit, exquisite sensitivity and revolutionary essence of the artist, Steven Arnold’s images portray creatures of beauty and elegance, intricacy and identity. Demonstrating his Surrealist eye for detail, intricate tableau vivants were created with painting, drawing, set design, costume, makeup and casting in a single photograph – transforming subjects into ethereal, androgynous and mystical figures.
A trailblazer within the queer community, Arnold continues to influence artists around the world years after his untimely death from complications due to AIDS. From The Steven Arnold Museum and Archives, each photograph is infused with Arnold’s interest in filmmaking, sexuality, spirituality and gender, which forged new ideas surrounding gender fluidity, non-binary consciousness and radical acceptance.
The Steven Arnold Museum and Archives
The Steven Arnold Museum and Archives was established in 2014 by artist Stephanie Farago as a nonprofit organization, dedicated to the preservation, exhibition, and study of the oeuvre of American artist Steven Arnold. The archives contain works and ephemera spanning from 1943-1994, including extensive personal files, calendars, props, sculpture, paintings, sketchbooks, drawings, films, and black and white tableau photography. As the museum does not have its own exhibition space, The Steven Arnold Museum and Archives work with established institutions, galleries and publishers to ensure that the work remains visible. The archive in Los Angeles, California is available to curators and researchers by appointment.
For the first time, Ballarat International Foto Biennale tickets are available for a single Day Pass or, for the complete experience, purchase a new 3-Day Pass for multiple entries to the Biennale’s core exhibitions in various venues during the festival. All Festival Passes include a single timed visit to the Linda McCartney: Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
Steven Arnold [USA]~Notes from a Queer Mystic
- Steven Arnold
August 28, 2021 - January 9, 2022
10:00 am - 5:00 pm