Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, 2021 by Chen Xiangyun




Queer|Art, New York City’s home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists, in partnership with The Robert Giard Foundation, is pleased to announce the winner of The Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers, Chen Xiangyun, and runner-up Camilo Godoy. This year’s awarded projects celebrate the richness of intimacy within queer communities. 

Chen Xiangyun will receive a $10,000 cash grant to support the development of her body of work which documents first and second-generation QTPOC immigrants across the United States. The work renders images of queer intimacy and vulnerability, especially among people of color, through authentic visual representations of their worlds. While photographing, the artist interviewed each sitter and asked about how their cultural backgrounds informed their experiences of being queer in America. Xiangyun’s ongoing series depicts people of diverse ethnicities, queer identities and regions, charting the emotional intricacies of queer life.

On receiving the 2022 Robert Giard Grant, Xiangyun writes, “I’m very honored to receive the Robert Giard Grant and I can’t wait to begin traveling the country to meet and photograph more queer people of color. It is my goal to increase queer visibility, portray the richness and complexity of our emotional experience, and reach more diverse ethnicities. As a Chinese lesbian immigrant and emerging photographic storyteller, this grant is an exciting opportunity for me to realize my ideas and grow my LGBTQ+ and art communities. I am very grateful for this award.

Camilo Godoy will receive a $5,000 cash grant to support his long-term project AMIGXS, a series of assertive photographs of friends and lovers engaged in acts of love and lust. The project is inspired by 20th century queer photography and publishing legacies sustained by erotic publications like Physique Pictorial and Sierra Domino. Through AMIGXS, Godoy manipulates scale to toy with the boundaries between the private and the public – presentations of each photograph range from zine to billboard. Ultimately, the photographs in AMIGXS celebrate friendship and insist on love as a way of life to imagine subversive ways of being. Hi

On being named runner-up for the 2022 Robert Giard Grant, Godoy writes, “Support for queer artists is fundamental to resist the ongoing catastrophic and conservative moment impacting us. Receiving this funding from the Robert Giard Foundation is an affirmation of my work. It is also a celebration of my relationship, and the people in my photographs, to the wonderful queer legacy of Robert Giard and of the many artists he photographed.”

Organized in partnership with The Robert Giard Foundation and Queer|Art, The Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers supports and promotes self-taught, early career or otherwise emerging LGBTQ+ artists, awarded on a yearly basis. This support is vital for emerging artists, who may lack the financial resources or institutional support available to more established artists. 215 applications were received for this award cycle. The 2022 judging panel comprised artists and arts professionals across the United States and Europe including: Jacqueline Francis, Naima Green, Sunil Gupta, Lorena Molina, and Jennie Ricketts

About Chen Xiangyun, Winner 

Chen Xiangyun is a Chinese lesbian photographer living in Brooklyn, New York. Her art practice employs bookmaking, analog film and photographs. Her work is rooted from her sexuality and Chinese upbringing. Chen has shown her work both nationally and internationally, including the Pingyao International Photography Festival in China, Baxter Street Camera Club of New York, Anthology Film Archives as well as Experimental Film Fest. About her series, Chen Xiangyun writes: 

This work is about centering images of queer intimacy and vulnerability, especially queer POC, through authentic visual representations of our worlds. […] I am making pictures that I wish I could have seen. Ever since I was a kid, I had dreamt about being told that it was possible to be gay and live an honest life. Looking back at the discrimination, shame, and guilt that I experienced, I want my pictures to say this to queer people who might be looking for courage like I was.

2022 Robert Giard Grant Judge and multidisciplinary artist and educator Lorena Molina writes: “I really was drawn by the tension between the intimacy and distance in Xiangyun’s portraits. As well as the strong push and pull between coldness and warmness in the work, which I think is realistic in any intimate relationship. Also, the people photographed seem in strong collaboration with Xiangyun, and Xiangyun is in charge of how much they share that special moment with the viewer. I’m really excited to see the project proposed for the Robert Giard Foundation Grant and to learn more about their stories.

About Camilo Godoy, Runner-up

Camilo Godoy is an artist and educator born in Bogotá and based in New York. He has participated in residencies at Movement Research, International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), coleção moraes-barbosa, Recess, New Dance Alliance, among others. Godoy’s work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, Leslie-Lohman Museum, CUE, OCDChinatown, PROXYCO Gallery, New York; Moody Center, Houston; UNSW Galleries, Sydney; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Quito; among others. He has performed at Danspace Project, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Center for Performance Research, New York; Toronto Biennial; and Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt.

Camilo Godoy writes: “AMIGXS is a project in which I represent and play with ideas about intimacy and exposure, private and public, and the shifting scales of zine and billboard. The photographs of AMIGXS celebrate friendship and insist on love as a way of life to imagine different subversive ways of being. This project has been in development for over three years, and has been mainly self-funded zines. I’ve had the privilege of presenting this project to be experienced as zines, small framed photographs, large-scale photographs to occupy an entire exhibition wall, and in public programs in which I invited artist friends to perform their work related to love and friendship. The relationship between shifting scales of zine, printed photograph, and billboard is one that I intend to continue in the photobook. I also desire to reference the history of erotic publications to explore ways to be in dialogue with past aesthetic and conceptual legacies.”

2022 Robert Giard Grant judge and photographer, curator, and editor Jennie Ricketts says of Godoy’s work: “Camilo’s AMIGXS is a celebration of friendship, love, lust using black and white photography to assert subversive ways of being, reflecting classical form and scale, which on the page creates a dialogue between contemporary zine and billboard formats.”

In addition to the winners and runners up, three other visual artists were acknowledged as finalists for this year—Heesoo Kwon, Giancarlo Montes Santangelo, and Fred Zucule.

About Heesoo Kwon, Finalist

Heesoo Kwon is a visual artist and anthropologist from South Korea currently based in the Bay Area, California. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Et Al and Studio 2W, San Francisco; Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, Berkeley; and CICA Museum and Visual Space Gunmulsai, South Korea. She has participated in group exhibitions at the CICA Museum; BAMPFA, Berkeley; 47 Canal, New York; Chinese Culture Center, San Francisco; Slash Gallery, San Francisco; and Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK, among others. Her other accolades include the Young Korean Artist Award from the CICA Museum, a finalist in the 20th Seoul International ALT Cinema & Media Festival, a finalist of the Sheffield DocFest Arts Programme, a winner of the Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize for Photos and Art Practice, and a finalist of Queer|Art|Prize in 2021.

About Giancarlo Montes Santangelo, Finalist

Giancarlo Montes Santangelo, native of the DC Metropolitan area, graduated from SUNY Purchase in 2018 with a BFA in photography. In 2019, Giancarlo exhibited his photographs alongside Paul Mpagi Sepuya and other collaborators as part of the Whitney Biennial. In 2020, he published his first monograph, “Improvising Sight Lines” with Monolith Editions – a book that weaves together images and writing and is held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MoMA. Giancarlo was recently awarded the Aperture x Google Creator Labs Photo Fund and completed residencies with Tangent Projects and TILT Institute for the Contemporary Image. He photographs and collages in an effort to map out where he comes from and where he wants to go. Collaged photographs bring together the artist’s own body and staged scenes against archival images.

About Fred Zucule, Finalist

Fred Zucule aka Kuln’Zu is a non-binary lens-based artist born and raised in Mozambique, and Kenya. Their aesthetic practice explores the transformative quality of art to heal and offer strategies of care, intimacy and mindfulness from an Afroqueer lens. They attend to the visual cultures and theories, work and life, of and from, a Black/Queer/Diaspora. This is their frontier. Having lived in 8 cities to complete their degree between ‘homes’ during the pandemic, portraiture was their chosen mode of care and conversation with themselves and their community. Portraiture was a lifeline for a life-in-transit, with bedrooms and living rooms as studios. They hold a BA in Africana Studies from Pomona College, and they are an alumnus of the African Leadership Academy in South Africa.

About the 2022 Judges

Jacqueline Francis is an art historian, curator, and occasional artist. She is the author of Making Race: Modernism and “Racial Art” in America (2012) and co-editor of Romare Bearden: American Modernist (2011). She is co-Executive Editor of Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art and a co-founder of the Association for Critical Race Art History. Her curatorial projects include “side by side|in the world” (2019, San Francisco Art Commission). A member of the Three Point Nine Art Collective, she exhibited the video RUN in the group’s exhibition at Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art in June 2021.

Naima Green is an artist, photographer, and educator from New York. Her practice is an invitation to participate, observe, and consider safety, utopia, and intimacy. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including at Fotografiska New York, Smart Museum of Art, MASS MoCA, International Center of Photography, Houston Center for Photography, Bronx Museum, BRIC, Gallery 102, Gracie Mansion Conservancy, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Arsenal Gallery, amongst others. Her works are in the collections of Barnard College Library, Decker Library at MICA, Fleet Library at RISD, ICP Library, Leslie-Lohman Museum, MoMA Library, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: Hirsch Library, National Gallery of Art, Olin Library, Cornell University, Smart Museum of Art, and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Sunil Gupta (b. New Delhi 1953) MA (RCA) PhD (Westminster) lives in London and has been involved with independent photography as a critical practice for many years focusing on race, migration and queer issues. A retrospective was shown at The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2020/21) and will move to Ryerson Image Center, Toronto 2022. He is a Professorial Fellow at UCA, Farnham. His latest book is “London 1982” Stanley Barker 2021 and his current exhibitions include; “The New Pre-Raphaelites” the the Holburne Museum, Bath. His work is in many public collections including; Tokyo Museum of Photography, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Royal Ontario Museum, Tate and the Museum of Modern Art. His work is represented by Hales Gallery (New York, London), Stephen Bulger Gallery (Toronto) and Vadehra Art Gallery (New Delhi).

Lorena Molina is a Salvadoran multidisciplinary artist and educator. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Cincinnati. Through the use of photography, video, performance and installation, she explores identity, intimacy, pain, and how we witness the pain of others. She received her Master of Fine Art degree from the University of Minnesota in 2015 and her Bachelor of Fine Art from California State University, Fullerton, in 2012. She is part of the upcoming traveling exhibition, The Regional at the Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati, and Kemper Contemporary Art Museum.

Jennie Ricketts is an independent photography editor, curator, consultant and mentor. For 17 of those years she was a picture researcher and then picture editor at The Observer Magazine, commissioning and editing photography which attracted international recognition and widespread publication. She launched the Jennie Ricketts Gallery in Brighton in 2006 while writing and lecturing and now operates from County Wicklow, Ireland as an online space representing international photographers. She is currently a Trustee for Autograph ABP, The Martin Parr Foundation and a member of the Advisory Board for PhotoIreland, Dublin.

About Robert Giard

Robert Giard (1939-2002) was a portrait, landscape, and figure photographer who came to the practice of photography relatively late in life. In 1972, he began to take photographs, concentrating on landscapes of the South Fork of Long Island, portraits of friends, many of them artists and writers in the region, and the nude figure. He is best known for photographing over 500 LGBTQ+ writers and activists. A selection from his project, Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, was published in 1997 by MIT Press and lead to a groundbreaking exhibit at the New York Public Library the following year.

In 1985, after seeing a performance of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, as the AIDS crisis raged, Giard decided to turn his camera towards the LGBTQ+ literary community to preserve a record of queer lives and histories. He began documenting LGBTQ+ literary figures, both established and emerging, in a series of unadorned, yet sometimes witty and playful portraits that would eventually number over 500 by the time of his death. 

Giard’s work can be found in the collections of The National Portrait Gallery, The Library of Congress, The Brooklyn Museum, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, the San Francisco Public Library, the New York Public Library, the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; his complete archive, including work books and ephemera, can be found at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

About The Robert Giard Foundation

The Robert Giard Foundation (RGF) is a nonprofit charitable organization launched in 2002, following the death of the pioneering American photographer Robert Giard, to honor his legacy and focus on the future of LGBTQ+ photography. RGF promotes the use of Giard’s work for educational purposes and supports public programs focusing on queer photography as well as LGBTIQ+ cultural and political movements.

The Giard Foundation provides annual support to self-taught, early career, or otherwise emerging photographers who illuminate aspects of gender and sexuality in their work. Recipients of RGF grants empower and amplify queer voices while helping to build a strong and self-reflective community. Established at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, City University of New York in 2008, and relocated to Queer|Art in 2019, the Giard Grant program has awarded over $100,000. in competitive prize money to 15 projects in the U.S. and around the world. It is the largest program of its kind anywhere.


Twitter: @GiardFoundation 

Instagram: @robertgiardfoundation


About Queer|Art

Queer|Art launched in 2009 to support a generation of LGBTQ+ artists that lost mentors to the AIDS Crisis of the 1980s. By fostering the confident expression of LGBTQ+ artists’ perspectives, stories, and identities, Queer|Art empowers a population that has been historically suppressed, disenfranchised, and often overlooked by traditional institutional and economic support systems. The current programs of Queer|Art include: the year-long Queer|Art|Mentorship program; the long-running Queer|Art|Film series, held monthly at the IFC Center in lower Manhattan; and Queer|Art|Awards, a new initiative of grants, prizes, and awards that provides various kinds of direct support—monetary and otherwise—to LGBTQ+ artists.

The Queer|Art|Mentorship program, launched in 2010, produces an evolving intergenerational dialogue within the LGBTQ+ arts community that has a direct impact on the landscape of contemporary art and culture as a whole. The program, which supports a year-long exchange between emerging and established artists, has propelled the careers of a new generation of creators. Queer|Art|Film, which has presented more than 100 screenings since 2009, provides a space for invited artists to present films that have inspired them, charting a uniquely queer cultural lineage through cinema to other artistic disciplines. Queer|Art|Awards was initiated in 2017 with the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant and the introduction of the Queer|Art|Prize (for Sustained Achievement and Recent Work). In 2018, the Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists was initiated; more to be announced soon. 

A list of the intergenerational community of artists supported and brought together by Queer|Art includes: Silas Howard, Jennie Livingston, Matt Wolf, Hilton Als, Sarah Schulman, Pamela Sneed, Justin Vivian Bond, Jibz Cameron, Trajal Harrell, John Kelly, Geoffrey Chadsey, Everett Quinton, Geo Wyeth, Angela Dufresne, Nicole Eisenman, Avram Finkelstein, Chitra Ganesh, Pati Hertling, Jonathan Katz, Tourmaline & Sasha Wortzel, Jess Barbagallo, Morgan Bassichis, Monstah Black, Yve Laris Cohen, Troy Michie, Tommy Pico, Justin Sayre, Colin Self, Jacolby Satterwhite, Rick Herron, and Hugh Ryan, among many others.


Twitter: @queerartnyc

Instagram: @queerart

Facebook: @queerartnyc