De Mooi Man: a gay art gallery in Groningen

De Mooi Man: the only gay art gallery in the whole of the Netherlands…and guess what? It’s in Groningen!

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Currently celebrating their 10 year anniversary, the Mooi Man Art gallery focuses on male art and offers a wide variety of paintings, sculptures, drawings, linoleum, ceramics, photography, graphics and many others technics. Right now you might think…”well it’s just a gallery” but no the Mooi Man is way more. It is a sanctuary for values, love, respect and life stories.

It all started, when the only Gay art gallery of the Netherlands[1] closed down in 2006. At that time, Jan van Stralen and Sandro Kortekaas (an homosexual couple based in Groningen) were already quite invested in the art field and refused to see the last gay gallery vanish from the Netherlands. They took action, transformed their house into a male art dedicated exhibition room and invited various artists. De Mooi Man gallery was born.

Ever since they hold 2 to 5 exhibitions a year and are now hosting Demir Demirov, Ron Amato, George Victor, Keith King, SvendA, Rinaldo Hopf, Dimitri Bitjukov and other artists from all over the world.

They have also been very active on the homosexual scene: defending LGBT rights, spreading their ideas through art and more recently helping homosexuals in their asylum seeking process. As a matter of facts Sandro’s Kortekaas works together with the LGBT Asylum Support and spends most of his time with homosexual refugees, victims of homophobia in their own countries and sometimes within their own families. In a following article we will explain how the Mooi Man gallery came to protect Demir Demirov’s life, a Russian activist and HIV positive artist that had to flew his country due to severe anti-homosexual Russian propaganda.

I now realize that I have drawn quite a dark image of the gallery throughout this article and that’s wrong! It’s wrong because despite the heavy topics that lay beneath certain pieces of artwork there is lightness, colors, and hope. And just as the American gay right activist Harvey Milk said “Hope will never be silent”. That’s what De Mooi Man taught me today: to hope.

[1] We refer here to the Amsterdamer Gay art gallery called Faubourg, that closed down in 2006.
By Maéva Mouton

http://www.mooi-man.nl/

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