los-angeles

Dean Sameshima

Peres Projects

Fagdom’s Betsy Ross, Gilbert Baker, a “self-described ‘flaming queen’ by age three,” designed the rainbow flag in 1978, but due to technical problems (an initial eight-color design could not be commercially fabricated because hot pink was at that time unavailable for mass production) it wasn’t unfurled until a year later, in honor of Harvey Milk and in peaceful protest of the light sentencing of his assassin, Twinkie-eater Dan White. I usually retch whenever I see a rainbow anything, but Dean Sameshima’s use of rainbow pride here triggered glee: Tearing at the semes of Baker’s handmade prototype, Sameshima allows the sign of craft to remain only in the rainbow tinting of his images scanned from underground 1950s and ’60s physical-culture-turned-sugary-porn chapbooks like Butch that, picturing “young men at play” as nude or pouch-clad cowboys, gymnasts, wrestlers, footballers, and artists,

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