Gabriel Garcia Roman: Queer Icons

The Thing Itself: The subject is a divine or God-like woman.

Detail: The subject has a powerful stance and appearance. There is an orb around her head which is giving her a strong presence in the picture. She is surrounded by her own words. This gives the subject an omnipotent characteristic because even though she is not speaking out loud you can still read her words and hear her speak inside your head. Her body is in black and white photography but the dress she is wearing is in color. Although there is a lot going on in the photo (golden yellow words and a printed background) her red dress stands out amongst all the noise. Her body positioning is also important because it alludes to paintings of religious icons. There are numerous religious icons with orbs and similar body positioning found in religious art throughout history. The details in this photo (mostly found with the subject) reminded me of the details found on religious candles that usually have saints on them.

Frame: Due to the collage technique of the artwork there is a cropping and framing that was done within the picture. The artist chose to crop the subject from the original background and paste her onto an edited background. The subject is framed from her head to around her lower stomach. This is the same framing that is usually found on religious candles and other art work. The framing of the photo seems to be one of the most important aspects because it is what gives the subject its “iconic” characteristic. Additionally, the cropped out photo of the woman is set between her handwritten words. She says so much in this one picture without having to move any part of her body. This adds to her divine appearance. Her powerful words elevate the subject and explain the divinity within her.

Time: Time is not initially noticed in this picture. If anything, time stands still. Similar to religious artwork, this icon seems to transcend time and space and just exists.

Vantage Point: The photographer took the woman’s picture straight on. His choice of perspective captured the subject in a divine position and gaze. She stares straight into the camera with a gaze that is beyond understanding, similar to other gods and saints in religious artwork. This vantage point shows the admiration the photographer has for her.