Once in a while, one gets to be a part of something greater than oneself. It is in these moments that we find like-minded individuals, pure souls who come together to create magic.
Reclaiming My Pride is that.
Over 100 artists submitted stunning work to demonstrate what Pride means to them in the spirit of Community, Creativity and Charity. Across sculpture, drawings, paintings and photography, these submissions highlighted the incredible work of emerging and established artists within the LGBTQ+ community.
On June 20th, Metrosource launched the program with a gala celebration in Aspire at One World Observatory, where the winner of the contest was announced: David Jester, Home.
Who is David Jester?
Born in Palm Springs and raised in San Diego, CA, David Jester has been painting or drawing his whole life. Having led the corporate life as a film producer, two years ago he decided to take the leap into becoming a full-time artist.
“I’m a gay male. I’ve been out since I was 18. I think who I am is integral to the kind of work that I do, otherwise I wouldn’t have the perspective or point of view that I do with regards to the subject matter of the paintings,” said Jester.
Home is part of a series that presents archetypes of LGBTQ individuals underwater to illustrate how we treat ourselves and each other in life. As it progresses, the series is “exploring the fine line between taste and discrimination,” said Jester.
“This series is inspired by how we present ourselves or treat each other online in apps. It’s curious to me that online apps have eliminated the need for the sense of community we used to have. They allow us to treat each other in ways that you just wouldn’t do in a bar. You’d never walk up to someone in a bar and say some of the things that people say online. This latest series was inspired by that interaction.”
On entering Reclaiming My Pride
“I entered this contest for a couple different reasons. I’ve spent about a year doing 30 of these pieces. Eventually there’s a much larger narrative behind the body of work as a whole, but it’s time for the work to start getting out there. Each of these pieces is part of a larger narrative and I plan to write a book to tell that narrative eventually” said Jester.
“Whether or not this series is more successful than previous work, I feel like I’m getting something out of it. I feel like I’m getting a story out there and it satisfies me inside.”
What are your favorite media to work with and why did it appeal to you?
“Currently I do oil paintings and I love the experience of painting with oils. There’s a silkiness to the way that the oils go onto these wood panels. In the past I’ve definitely done chunkier paintings. My Masters was actually in sculpture and before that I was a printmaker for 13 years. I like using all media. At some point I’d like to put together a show with film elements, printmaking elements, sculptural elements and these paintings” said Jester.
What does he love about the LGBTQ+ community?
“I love so many things about our community – I love that there is a sense of community when we’re all together and not fighting each other but supporting each other and helping each other as a community, to rise” said Jester.
“For me Pride was born out of wanting to stand up and let the world see who you are and being proud of that. Being proud of the fact that there was nothing to hide. Nothing to be ashamed about.”
If you couldn’t create art any more what would you do?
“I think I’d wither up and die. I can’t imagine not doing art. I paint 12-15 hours a day. Every day. I’ve done that for a year and maybe taken 5 days off.”
Reclaiming My Pride
was showcased in Aspire at One World Observatory from June 21-24, 2018. Ticket sales benefitted The Ali Forney center and the exhibition featured 10 finalists and 9 honorable mentions.
Check out the below video of the finalists in which they express what Pride means to them.
Visit metrosource.com/reclaimingmypride for more on the art submissions and the artists.
Last modified: June 29, 2018