Public Art | Painted Utility Box | 2023
The city of Brighton, MA sits on Massa-adchu-es-et and Pawtucket Native land.
With our current political climate trying to minimize the existence of queer individuals, it has become particularly important for me to express my queer identity, especially through my artwork. For my 2023 Boston PaintBox, “RAINBOWLAND,” I utilized a prism-like spectrum of colors, creating a heat map or “radial rainbow” of sorts. Contour lines, concentrically arranged, were carefully painted in a light pastel rainbow palette across an ombre color field, informed by the respective underpainting.
The double rainbow color palette and linework are representative of multiple themes. The first theme is the pride flag, both for color and striped quality, a prominent symbol in the fight for equality and justice for LGBTQIA+ people. The second is a nod to the language of maps - the base layer is an abstracted heatmap, which is overlaid with a topographical map. Together, these two symbols act as a metaphor representing the queer people of Boston. The repeated concentric lines are a visual representation of how it feels to live within the margins of society as a queer person. The underlying rainbow heatmap is darker in tone, allowing the pastel rainbow topographic map to stand out. The contour lines painted over the ombre base naturally contrast with each other, but also work together to follow and highlight the warm colored nuclei of each color blob. Together, “hotspots'' are created, which radiate energy like a beacon of hope, for queer people to know they can gather and feel safe. By uniting and working together as one, queer people learn to survive within the structures of a society that is trying to diminish them. Together, we can create beauty and change.