Sassify Zine - June 2019
Indulge yourself in the titillating world of Zach Grear. A self-taught artist inspired by queer erotica mixed with 70’s and 80’s punk aesthetics, specifically 70’s New York.
'I will always be a sucker for the "outcast runs away to the big city" narrative. Having not lived in that time period it is easy to romanticize the era. . The overpowering need for self-expression and self-discovery fuelled the city while it quite literally was falling apart. NYC might not be financially bankrupt anymore, but it certainly has sold out on much of its creative wealth; in the midst of this is the current boom of queer art in Brooklyn. Just like the 60's and 70 era, I have envisioned in my head, it is the queer creatives who are the backbone of life in this city.
James Baldwin will always be a hero for me. The depth of perception he had in reading the world around him is so precise; and then, going one-step further, to realize how potent his words are in present-day America is just staggering. David Wojnarowicz reminds me to stay angry.
I often think of his battles against Right Wing "Family Values" censorship in this age of similarly insidious White Hetero Tech "Community Standards" censorship. Audre Lorde is just a miracle; I melt every time I read her work, and her identity as a black lesbian serves a necessary reminder of queer narratives outside of, and often hidden by, wealthy white cis gay men.
My vision of a Queertopia is, to quote Nina Simone, "No Fear". Somewhere for people to experiment with their identities and know they will be surrounded by people cheering them on the whole time. I see a place for us to show our art and not have to dumb it down or censor it for hetero consumption. My Queertopia is a place free of assimilation; there is no fear, so no need to bend into a diluted "straight friendly" version of ourselves. '