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Joseph Abbati Bio

Joseph Abbati’s work addresses social identity and the human condition; that is the common thread of my body of work. His areas of inquiry have included subcultures and contemporary life.

In 2017, Joseph Abbati had his first solo exhibit at Strut presenting a collection of portraits of San Francisco drag queens made into tapestries titled “LARGER THAN LIFE.” Later in 2017, he was invited to exhibit his work at the office of Senator Scott Wiener in the State of California Building in San Francisco for Pride month. He then started curating on a regular basis for the Senator’s office and promoting the work of San Francisco Bay Area artists. These exhibits at Senator Wiener’s offices have brought together a diverse group of artists on subjects such as housing, night life, artists over 50 years of age, the Bay Area Asian diaspora, LGBTQ Pride, the Global Climate Action Summit, and Latinx culture.

“Queeries,” Joseph Abbati’s exhibit at Strut March-April 2020, is his inquiry on the masculine figure and forms of expression from a queer point of view.  The paintings in this exhibit reveal masculine forms depicting queer identity, kinks, and beauty.

In life, and in social media in particular, queer men often need to censor themselves to fit into heteronormative norms.  This self-censorship may bring shame to queer men when they cannot express who they are. The paintings in “Queeries” are a means for queer men to celebrate the expression of their sexual identities and desires.

The paintings in Joseph’s work use graphic lines, contour, and figures. The outlines of the figures in the paintings are sometimes placed off-register like in printmaking.  This produces a visual vibration and depth to the figures that contrast to the flatness of the painting.  In some of the paintings, color blocks the contour of the figure to create a graphic image which references Joseph’s history and experience working in graphic design.

Joseph’s “LARGER THAN LIFE” series of San Francisco drag queen tapestries can be seen now in the office of Supervisor Rafael Mandelman.  He has donated work throughout the years to help fund “Visual AID,” “Pulse: Acts of Love and Kindness” at Ft. Mason, “Windows For Harvey,” “Art for Aids,” and Creative Growth in Oakland.

CV

Joseph Abbati

jabbati@mac.com

Exhibits

2020 (July) “Diasporic Futurism” paintings in group exhibit at Root Division

2020 (May) “Windows For Harvey,” painting of Harvey Milk in group exhibit

2020 (March) “Queeries” solo exhibit of paintings at Strut, San Francisco

2020 (February) “The Artist As Curator” at Senator Scott Wiener’s office in the California State Building in San Francisco, curated and exhibited with 12 Bay Area artists

2019 (October) Art for Aids, exhibit and auction, San Francisco

2019 (August) Lonestar group exhibit benefitting Art for Aids, San Francisco

2019 (June) “Make You Mark,” group exhibit at Art Attack SF Gallery, San Francisco

2019 (June) “QueerEyes,” paintings in group exhibit at Senator Scott Wiener’s office in the California State Building San Francisco

2018 (December) “ADVANCED,” at Senator Scott Wiener’s office in the California State Building in San Francisco, group exhibit with 28 San Francisco Bays Area artists

2018 (September) “A Beautiful Indiscretion” solo exhibit of photo collages and paintings at Strut, San Francisco

2018 (September) Art for Aids, exhibit and auction, San Francisco

2018 (September), paintings in group exhibit at Wessling Gallery, San Francisco

2018 (June) “Queerky,” paintings in group exhibit at Senator Scott Wiener’s office in the California State Building San Francisco

2018 (May) “Windows For Harvey,” tapestry of Harvey Milk for group exhibit

2018 (February) “Nite Life,” photographs in group exhibit at Senator Scott Wiener’s office in the California State Building San Francisco

2017 (October) Art for Aids, exhibit and auction, San Francisco

2017 (October) “Housing,” photographs in group exhibit at Senator Scott Wiener’s office in the California State Building San Francisco

2017 (June) “LARGER THAN LIFE” tapestries of drag queens at Senator Scott Wiener’s office, San Francisco

2017 (June) “Pulse: Acts of Love and Kindness,” group exhibit and auction, Ft. Mason, San Francisco

2017 (March) “LARGER THAN LIFE” tapestries of drag queens at Strut, San Francisco

2012 SOMARTS, Visual Aid, Group Exhibit and Auction, San Francisco

2011 SOMARTS, Visual Aid, Group Exhibit and Auction, San Francisco

2011 Solo Exhibition of “Heavenly Bodies” at Propeller, San Francisco

Curating

2020 (June) “SF Pride – 50 Years” an online photographic exhibit in conjunction with Senator Scott Wiener:  www.sfpride2020.gallery

2020 (February) “The Artist As Curator” at Senator Scott Wieners office in the California State Building in San Francisco, curated exhibit with 12 Bay Area artists

2019 (November) “Abstrax” co-curated with Radian Gallery a group exhibit of San Francisco Bay Area abstract artists

2019 (September) “We Belong – Pertenecemos” at Senator Scott Wieners office in the California State Building in San Francisco, curated exhibit with 23 San Francisco Bay Area LantinX artists

2019 (June) “QueerEyes,” at Senator Scott Wieners office in the California State Building in San Francisco, curated exhibit with 32 San Francisco Bay Area LGBTQ artists

2019 (March) “East on West,” at Senator Scott Wieners office in the California State Building in San Francisco, curated exhibit with 26 San Francisco Bay Area artists from the Asian diaspora

2018 (December) “ADVANCED,” at Senator Scott Wieners office in the California State Building in San Francisco, curated exhibit with 28 San Francisco Bay Area artists over 55 years of age

2018 (September) “eARTh,” at Senator Scott Wieners office in the California State Building in San Francisco, curated exhibit for the Global Climate Action summit with 25 San Francisco Bay Area artists

2018 (June) “Queerky,” at Senator Scott Wieners office in the California State Building in San Francisco, curated exhibit for Pride month with 21 San Francisco Bay Area LGBTQ artists

2018 (February) “Nite Life,” at Senator Scott Wieners office in the California State Building in San Francisco, curated exhibit about night life with 23 San Francisco Bay Area artists

2017 (October) “Housing,” at Senator Scott Wieners office in the California State Building in San Francisco, curated exhibit about housing issues with 18 San Francisco Bay Area artists

2012 at Design Within Reach, group exhibit of printed art pillows featuring 18 artists from Visual Aid

Events and Articles

  • Led online panel discussion for exhibit “SF Pride 2020 – 50 Years” with seven photographers and Senator Scott Wiener June 26, 2020
  • Panelist on “Fighting Back | Lessons from AIDS for COVID-19: The Role of Art & Artists in a Pandemic, Part II” for the GLBT Historical Society.  The other panelists included Terry Beswick; Executive Director of the GLBT Historical Society, Lenore Chinn, E.G. Crichton, Katie Conry, and Leo Herrera. May 13, 2020
  • Panelist on “Fighting Back | Lessons From AIDS For Covid-19: Art and Artists in Pandemic, ” for the GLBT Historical Society.  The other panelists included Terry Beswick; Executive Director of the GLBT Historical Society, Lenore Chinn, E.G. Crichton, Katie Conry, and Leo Herrera. April 8, 2020
  • “Shows mix politics & art,” by Matthew S. Bajko for The B.A.R., Wednesday Jun 26, 2019
  • “Drag Queen Art Adorns Senator Wiener’s Office,” San Francisco Examiner, July 2017
  • • “Larger Than Life,” Shining Stars by Steven Underhill, The B.A.R., March 2017
  • • “Bay Watch,” by Joseph Abbati for Christies International Real Estate Magazine, March 2015
  • • “Fossil Face-off,” San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate.com, March 24, 2014
  • • Nara Shin, “Five Favorites From Boreum House & Home,” The Cool Hunter, July 30, 2014
  • • Feature Photo, Architectural Digest Russia, April 12, 2012
  • • Oscar Raymundo, “The Seven Coolest Works From Visual Aid’s 18th Charity Art Auction,” SFWeekly Blogs, December 8, 2011
  • • “5 Things,” Propeller Launch, San Francisco Guardian Online, March 23, 2011