Billyburg Queer Interiors

Billyburg Queer Interiors

There’s no place like Homohome

It’s challenging to furnish a space with exclusive items. With the advent of intense cataloging, it seems that choices are limited to designs that either everyone has or everyone wants. But what if you got your hands on a catalogue that offered a selection so enchanting that it didn’t matter how many people had it? What if you found a catalogue that didn’t just decorate your home, but offered interior extensions of who you were?

Cinders Gallery asked area artists to help design items for a mock catalog that fit these hypothetical questions, but with an emphasis on “must-haves for the homo home.” What they received is a collection that has turned Cinders Gallery into a living catalogue, which curator Kay Turner has aptly titled “Prototype for a Homohome Catalogue.”

Keeping in step with a similar vision artist David Kolwyck cultivated in 1987 under the title, “Queerco presents Homohome,” the items in the Cinders Gallery installation elicit an array of reactions—from laughter to disgust. This is the success of a proper catalogue––something for everyone.

For the more traditional decorator, there’s “Welcome Homo” plaques, erotic paper towels, gaily colored seashells, hot pink flashlights, homostamps, air fresheners, and various kitchen aids. For the naughty homeowner, Homohome™ offers a transgender tool kit, a dildo light, and crotchless garment inserts. For the activist urge, there’s a selection of gay power pillows and feminist hairpieces. Some of the items go beyond categorization, like the butch plumber’s candle tool kit, homo plaques, and homo hubcaps, just to name a few. Cinders Gallery has put a price tag on all the items, just like a true catalogue offering.

Although the entire collection oozes with innovation and uniqueness, a few of the works stand out as particularly creative. Marget Long’s “Professional Lesbians” Jigsaw Puzzle features images from advertisement in gay and lesbian newspapers in San Francisco and New York in the early ‘90s. James Morrison’s screen-printed messages on paper towel—“Home is where the heart is”—and toilet paper—“Skinny men and women are not attractive”—will transform the most mundane task into an action of style and humor. Elizabeth Demaray’s Plant Sweater made of Shetland wool makes dressing up a dog so last season, while Jonah Bokaer’s “How To Screw in a Lightbulb” light installation goes above and beyond traditional phallic art. There’s no mystery to his finished product; it glows and demands attention.

“Prototype for a Homohome Catalogue” is a vision of suggestive works that beg to be a part of someone’s interior motif. If nothing else, this collection will make gallery-goers wonder why Homohome™ can’t go from a fictional catalogue to a mainstay on their Pottery Barn coffee table.