The poem by Alejandra Pinango

5 Incredibly Talented LGBTQIA+ Artists of Colour

Isabella Izzo June 07 2023


From painting to photography, and everything in between, here are some LGBTQIA+ identifying artists of colour whose work you won’t want to miss!

The LGBTQIA+ is a beautiful and diverse community of people of all genders and sexualities. Despite this diversity, the contributions and creations from people of colour are often overlooked. This article seeks to provide these artists with a well-deserved spotlight.

A quick note on the terminology used in this text: until recently the term queer was used in a derogatory manner against members of the LGBTQIA+ community to mark them as “odd” or “different”. Though the word has a rough history, it has been reclaimed by members of the community and is used as a marker of pride. Today, many members of the LGBTQIA+ community use queer as an umbrella term to encompass everyone who identifies as a member of the community. So, all uses of the term in this article are attributed to artists who use and identify with the word queer.

With that note in mind, here are five LGBTQIA+ contemporary artists of colour making a splash in the art world:

Clifford Prince King

Selected Works from Clifford Prince King’s website

Clifford is an American artist based in New York and Los Angeles. As a queer black man, his photography portrays his experiences and documents his intimate relationships with other men. His images are deeply personal, intrinsically beautiful, and offer viewers an emotional view of his life. Clifford’s works have appeared in prominent publications like Vogue, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

You can find Clifford on Instagram or on his website.

Yas Petit Poulet

From the website of Yas Petit Poulet

Yas Petit Poulet is a queer Canadian artist of Lebanese-Belgian descent living in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). Their work explores queerness through the focal point of science. Primarily a digital artist, this contemporary artist created their “Queer Chemistry” project (pictured above) as a means to inspire confidence in one’s identity by taking a chemical element from the periodic table of elements and ascribing it to specific sexual orientations and genders.

You can find Yas Petit Poulet on Instagram, their website, Twitter, and Facebook.

Connie Fleming

Ink series by Connie Fleming

Connie is a Jamaican-born American artist who rose to prominence in the 1990’s Brooklyn nightlife scene. She is a transgender black woman and considered the first black openly transgender model. Aside from modelling, she is also known as a showgirl, and a contemporary artist working in the medium of illustrative art. Her illustrations explore themes of race, queerness, and fashion. Her exhibition Ink was featured at Montreal’s Never Apart gallery in 2021, a non-profit that celebrates LGBTQ2S and black excellence.

You can find Connie on Instagram and on her Twitter.

Jonathan Lyndon Chase

Instagram art by Jonathan Lyndon Chase (2022)

Jonathan is an American artist based in Philadelphia. They are a nonbinary black painter whose works explore themes of sexuality, specifically of black queer people. Their paintings use extremely vivid colours and bold shapes, reminiscent of abstract artists like Picasso. They had a solo exhibit from January to March 2023 at the Sadie Coles art gallery in London, England, and a group exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art in Maryland.

You can find Jonathan on Instagram or on their website.

Michèle Pearson Clarke

The Animal Seems To Be Moving series by Michèle Pearson Clarke (2018-2023)

Michèle is a Trinidadian-born Canadian artist based in Toronto who is known for her incredible photography and filmmaking talents. From 2019 to 2022, she served as the photo laureate for the city of Toronto. Michèle is a black and queer artist whose work has been exhibited and screened at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, among many others. Her work delves into themes of masculinity and the black lesbian perspective. She is also an assistant professor in the Photography department at the Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University).

You can find Michèle on Instagram or on her website.

Who are your favourite LGBTQIA+ artists of colour? Did we list them here? If not, let us know in the comments. We love discovering new art!

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