Artist Spotlight: Michael Sharkey

Artist Statement:The idea for this project arose from my own desire as a gay teenager to be given a voice. I desperately wanted to be counted and somehow made valid in the eyes of my peers. Sadly, coming out (and of age) in the ’80s, as I did, proved to be quite difficult for me and many others. I’ll never forget being beaten up by a high school classmate, as I’m sure all the other kids who suffered some physical abuse because of their sexuality will not forget. It was precisely this kind of willful, painful defiance that I wanted to capture in these portraits. But what you may also see is the delight that is the domain of a new generation: the sheer joy of being able to stand up and be seen without shame.Why are you a photographer?I really became a photographer by chance
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