Wolfgang Bauer is very interested in the confluence of gender, sexuality, structured religion and social behavior in general. He is fascinated by the way these things effect the construction and expression of masculinity and femininity and their overall impact on identity. With his work, he draws from collective memory, sociological studies as well as autobiographical events. He then translates all of these things into composition- resulting primarily in life-size, figurative oil paintings, drawings, photo-collages and writings.  

According to Wolfgang, “I use the term LGBTQ, emphasizing on the Queer discourse since I identify as a queer artist”. The cross-disciplinary education I received with my undergraduate degree at USC, immersed me in Anthropology, Gender Studies and German Literature, as well as Fine Arts.  This approach exposed me to feminism, poststructuralist philosophers, queer theory and ethics.” Through these studies Wolfgang began to recognize and understand the suffocating mechanisms of hetero-normative binaries weighing down his own life.  His biological, cultural and social upbringing conflicted with his needs- not unlike the dichotomy between the LGBTQ community and the hetero-normative world at large. Like a true creative spirit, Wolfgang chose to explore these conflicts within his art. 

In his own rite and through his art, Wolfgang has become an activist for the subjugated who experience oppression due to their sexual orientation, gender, age, color, disability and pedigree. His work addresses these uncomfortable, controversial issues. Rather than dictate with his work, Wolfgang prefers to raise questions that reflect the oppression brought on by generational conflicts, religious and doctrinal pressures or traditional customs. His art serves the LGBTQ community by helping provoke discussion of these issues, when they might not otherwise be explored. 

Wolfgang explains, “I am staunch supporter of any LGBTQ friendly businesses. Just like other marginalized groups, LGBTQ individuals constantly face environments that discriminate against them. Yet, we all deserve to be treated equally in every way, including the opportunity to partner up, marry or express ourselves how we choose to, without the threat of emotional and physical harm.  LGBTQ services and businesses that cater specifically to LGBTQ people provide a tremendous level of comfort and ease in this regard.  I now use gaytravel.com to navigate before I travel.”

Wolfgang is closely connected to both the Viennese as well as the Los Angeles art communities as a hybrid of both cities. His work has been show at a number of recent exhibits in the Los Angeles area including the ONE Archives Gallery & Museum - part of the largest LGBT research library in the United States - and at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.  He is currently showing work at Gay-owned Koffi Palm Springs and later this year, he is invited to exhibit at the Florence Biennale in Italy representing the U.S. Wolfgang is currently working on his MFA at Otis in Los Angeles, with the expected graduation in 2012.

To get more of Wolfgang, visit his website. To see his work in person, visit Koffi Palm Springs  for his exhibit “A Slice of Works” that will be up through Labor Day. Stay tuned for his exhibit Florence Biennale at Fortezza da Basso in Florence, Italy that launches in December.

Favorite LGBT  (or LGTB friendly) bar/club: “As a bi-continental LGBTQ advocate I have two tips.  In Venice, California - Roosterfish, a neighborhood bar on Abbott Kinney Street, and in Vienna, Austria -  MOTTO, a trendy Restaurant/Bar in the first district on Ruedigerstrasse (Rudiger Street).”

Favorite thing to do: “In Los Angeles, I like to get up early in the morning around and run barefoot on the beach along the water, from the Venice pier to the Marina harbor.  I enjoy seeing the dolphins, sea-lions, pelicans and other aquatic wildlife go about their business.

In Vienna, I like to visit the Flea Market at the “Naschmarkt,” then hang out at the Savoy, an old coffee house across the street.  At night, there is nothing better than visiting friends at the wine-garden Heurigens on the outskirts of town. “ 

Insider's tip: “In Vienna: Rent a bike and take it into the Wienerwald (the Vienna Forest).  There are destination spots everywhere, sprinkled with small, family-run cafes wineries and restaurants.  There are no bears, snakes or poison ivy and you cannot get lost.  The forests are groomed like a backyard and filled with fit Viennese.  Don’t be surprised if Grandma or Grandpa pass you as you huff and puff up hill.  But don’t worry; the Viennese are Ameriphiles with generally liberal views of LGBTQ people.  They love to speak English, so strike up a conversation. 

In Los Angeles: Stroll down Abbott Kinney.  It’s one of the hippest, non-corporate streets in Venice.  Only a few blocks from the beach, it is full of funky restaurants and shops.  Don’t be surprised if you run into Julia, Leo, Ryan or Ellen.”            

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