SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 29 of 58

L O O K I N G & L E A R N I N G SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 25 Art, Gender, and Ice Hocke TAY L O R BY S T R O M CO N T E M P O R A R Y P O P A R T I S T L O O K I N G & L E A R N I N G I n the last several years, race, gender, and identity issues have become a part of public discourse and popular culture like never before. From celebrity transformations to characters on popular television shows, transgender people are being acknowledged as a part of the fabric of everyday life and culture. Although their appearance in the mainstream media is a somewhat recent phenomenon, transgender people have existed throughout history. As with many social movements, the visual art world has often been a supportive place for nonbinary and transgender people to express their ideas and advocate for their rights. In fact, artists have explored, questioned, challenged, and celebrated gender identities throughout history. Influence and Identity Taylor Bystrom is a transgender male artist who explores gender, identity, and hockey through his bold, brightly col- ored paintings influenced by pop art. He seeks to promote positivity and acceptance through his work, advocate for transgender rights, and ease the struggles of others who feel they do not fit into traditional gender roles. He considers pop art painter Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997) to be his main influence, but there are strong suggestions of the work of Keith Haring (1958–1990) in his work as well. Bystrom's paintings are also influenced by the iconic mythology of Frankenstein's monster, which he includes in his imagery. His lifelong interest in ice hockey and ice skating perme- ates his work, seen in repeated motifs of hockey sticks, uni- forms, and other symbols. He is committed to emphasizing the NHL's campaign "Hockey Is for Everyone." A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Bystrom began his journey as an artist in 2010 while working for an "art and wine" studio where he cleaned paintbrushes. Watch- ing the lead artists teach others to paint inspired Taylor to begin creating work of his own. Historical Connections Sharing personal stories through art was not truly a viable goal for artists until the late 1900s, when the gender and ethnic revolutions of the 1960s empowered artists to begin critiquing society, race, gender, and power. Gender identi - fication and discrimination were addressed by many artists in the 1970s, such as Sylvia Sleigh (1916–2010) and Mar tha Edelheit (b. 1931). In the 1980s, the anonymous collective The Guerilla Girls, who are still active today, confronted gen - der discrimination in art galleries and museums, challenging them to show more work by women ar tists. During the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, many artists advocated for gay rights and AIDS awareness through their art, including Keith Haring and David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992). Top: Contemporary artist Taylor Bystrom. Bottom: Taylor Bystrom, New Year New T. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40" (76 x 102 cm). Photos by Fontaine Rittelmann. Images courtesy of Taylor Bystrom and Fontaine Rittelmann.

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