A visual model is a scientific tool to describe elements in our existence that, amongst other things, are too small or too big for us to see. Scientists use these models to show the vastness of our galaxy and to portray the microscopic virus. With the occurrence of the current global pandemic, it is important to remember two things. First, queer people have been dealing with death in the form of disease for the last fifty years, so this is not a new concept for us: having less sexual partners is replaced with social distancing, condoms are replaced with face masks, AZT is replaced with hydroxychloroquine. The only difference is the victims in our current crises are not being demonized for contracting the virus.
Secondly, it is possible to contextualize the larger problems of society through visual cues, thus making it important for artists to bridge the gap between what humanity experiences and the feelings those experiences provoke. Artists are in the business of making models: windows into the soul of society that put into context the human condition. It is an aim to coalesce our shared reality through the lens of a single individual, the artist, and their experience, perspective, and opinions.
These mixed media drawings, done with acryla-gouache, pencil, colored pencil, and ink, work to not only identify a collective human anxiety when dealing with issues larger than ourselves, but to reclaim the virus for the queer community. Gay men, lesbians, and the trans community have historically been forced to deal with discrimination, violence, and disease for years, so it is important for me to share, as a gay man, my coping mechanisms in dealing with the broader world. Problems that, represented by the model, are sometimes too big for us to see, but when broken down into their base nature, become more manageable for us to handle.