Joe Sinness: the Flowers

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Minneapolis, June 26, 2017— The Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) presents “the Flowers,” an exhibition by artist Joe Sinness that explores sexual desire and cinematic performance. On view July 20 through October 29, 2017, the show captures the beauty of communities that historically have been ostracized.

Inspired by old Hollywood, vintage physique magazines, and iconic films like Cruising, starring Al Pacino, “the Flowers” features portraits, still-lifes, cinematic panoramas, and theatrical sculptures. Sinness’s portraits capture real people who become fantasy characters in ethereal, idealized spaces where they confront and entice the viewer. Meanwhile, his still-life drawings act as stages for queer performance, sometimes blurring into panoramic, filmic scenes; at other times, recalling traditional portraiture; and occasionally, evolving into strip tease. The sculptural pieces bring cruising spaces into the physical location of the gallery.

The show conceives and pursues a vision of utopic queer spaces, without shame, where the actions depicted and the performers involved are seen as beautiful and empowered.

About the artist

A resident of Minneapolis, Joe Sinness earned a B.A. from St. John’s University in Collegeville and an M.F.A. from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He was part of the MAEP exhibition “Flourish” in 2010, which also featured works by Jennifer Davis, Erika Olson Gross, and Terrence Payne. Sinness is the recipient of 2013 and 2017 Artist Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, a 2013/14 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Visual Artists, and a 2015 Fire Island Artist Residency.

About Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program

Founded in 1975, the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) is a curatorial program of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, dedicated to exhibiting and supporting artists living and working in Minnesota. MAEP is now located in Mia’s U.S. Bank Gallery.