Visual AIDS celebrates Artist+ Member Kia LaBeija's Artforum cover and 12 page spread in the January 2018 issue of Artforum, on newsstands now.
Kia has been an important part of the Visual AIDS community for years, providing perspective and awareness through her art, creativity, brilliance and strength.
Learn more from Kia about her art and process from her 2016 ARTIST TALK at Stanford University, for the course "Living Free: Embodying Healing and Creativity in the Era of Racial Justice Movements," in conversation with Visual AIDS Programs Director Alex Fialho. (Reading and artist talk begins at the 4:10 minute mark.)
View Kia in recent Visual AIDS programs AIDS, Art and Activism Today at the Museum of the City of New York and HERE THEN, HERE NOW: Women, Art, AIDS and Activism at the Brooklyn Museum.
Finally, view Kia's recent video commission "Goodnight, Kia" for Visual AIDS Day With(out) Art 2017 program ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS:
Over the duration of the ongoing AIDS epidemic, an estimated 17 million children have lost one or both parents to an AIDS-related illness. Many of these children living with the virus themselves have ended up displaced or forced out of their homes. In Goodnight, Kia, Kia LaBeija processes a reoccurring dream of the home she shared with her mother Kwan Bennett. Bennett died of an AIDS-related illness in October of 2004, resulting in an unanticipated move that reshaped the course of her teenage daughter's life.
Kia LaBeija is a contemporary artist who provokes awareness, acceptance and activism for HIV/AIDS through her portraiture and performance art. Her work explores the intersections of community, politics, fine art and activism. As a visual artist she stages digital portraits as theatrical and cinematic re-imaginings of non fictional events to spark conversation, complicating the way we view her subjects and the spaces they occupy. LaBeija’s portraiture utilizes the medium of story telling, to preserve histories and make sociopolitical commentaries on current events. LaBeija was a featured artist in Art, AIDS, America, alongside Keith Haring, Annie Leibovitz, Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe and more; she was the only woman of color; the only woman living with HIV; and the only artist born with HIV included in the exhibition. A performer by nature, LaBeija is a member of the Iconic House of LaBeija and uses Voguing as performance practice and community based work. In 2014, Kia received the Bill Olander Visual AIDS Vanguard Award, VAVA presented to an individual in the creative arts living with HIV, and named in honor of the late New Museum curator and co-founder of Visual AIDS.