SkiNZ: "Patience," Personal Narratives of Identity within Gay Leather Culture

By Logan Peter Austin.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: May 26, 2016 Free Download

This paper discusses several artists and authors working with image-dominant cultural coding and gay leather culture. My most recent painting from the SkiNZ project, “Patience,” is also presented. Image-dominant cultural coding plays an important role in how we perceive culture. Culture coding exists in many areas, including, but not limited to, advertising, education, news, and popular art. I argue that most artworks about gay leather culture have focused solely on the “in-scene/erotic” aspects of the culture, rather than the “out of scene” lives of the people participating, thus creating a very narrow cultural code. The SkiNZ project responds to this issue with a desire to expand knowledge and discourse of this minority sub-culture. My questions therefore are “How can I create images capable of expanding our knowledge of gay leather culture, creating new discourse?” and “How can I create meaningful artworks worthy of being created in the first place?” SkiNZ: “Patience” is my latest response. “Patience” provides a visual fusion of the everyday livestyles of gay New Zealand leathermen, both in and out of character. The resulting image portrays duality of lifestyles, creating a new visual coding that is capable of expanding our understanding, by painting visual traces of truth, gathered from personal photoshoots and interviews.

Keywords: Visual Culture, Leather Culture, Leather Artists, Personal Narratives, Cultural Coding, Digital Painting, Traces of Truth, LGBT Arts, BDSM, Gay Culture, Leathermen

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 11, Issue 3, September, 2016, pp.47-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: May 26, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.056MB)).

Logan Peter Austin

Senior Lecturer, School of Art & Design, Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, AUT University, Auckland, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand