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Matthew Papa

WFH (Bearsville, NY) | 36″ x 24″ | Archival pigment print | 2020

Artist Statement

Desire and the body are often subjects in my work because our ideas around them are rife with conflict. Working with friends, lovers, and strangers, I investigate relationships and open my subjectivity and theirs to new forms of engagement. Examining the power of images to construct knowledge, I bring to the fore that which is often glossed over or ignored. 
Making pictures can be a fundamentally physical yet silent act. Moving in tandem with my subject, I explore photography’s ability to ground experience and heighten awareness.
The inherent fragility of the body recurs as a motif. Sexual longing radiates from the photographs but is often tinged by the anxiety of power, emasculation and death. Being human is fraught with risk and uncertainty, a bind my work embraces.

Artist Website + Social Media: 
Instagram @come2papanyc

MR/QD Is Made Possible BY

Artists stipends made possible by Kresge Arts in Detroit

For details and more info on making a contribution to Mighty Real/Queer Detroit, please contact us at

About MR/QD

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is an art exhibition in June 2022 devoted to 77 years (1945-2022) of Detroit LGBTQ+ art 

The exhibition presents a month-long historical examination of the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and its longtime allies, featuring established & emerging Detroit artists, as well as artists whose careers were shortened by HIV/AIDS.

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to promoting positive and meaningful images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through artistic and intellectual means. © 2023. All Rights Reserved.