B6 – Artist Conversation – Stevan Dupus

Artist: Stevan Dupus
Exhibition: Queery
Gallery: Gatov East Gallery
Website: StevanDupasArts.com
Instagram: n/a

Stevan Dupus, an undergraduate student fulfilling his degree in the MFA Studio Arts program, has made buzzing noise in the LGBT community here at California State Long Beach. Originally from San Diego he commutes daily to Long Beach solely for his education. Dupus is very passionate in his identity and wants the share his viewpoint to the world.

Presented in the Gatov Gallery, seven pieces originally created by him are presented: Robin’s Egg Blue, U-Haul, Last Labrys, Glitter Is The Herpes Of The Gay Community, Flaggots, Dragging You Out For A Night Cap, and Friends Of Dorthy.  Each art work beautifully presents the gay community in an intimate way. Out of the seven pieces Last Labrys was my favorite. In my own eyes, this painting explicitly shows a daytime bar/cafe filled with men and women. This painting in particular was different that the rest of his artworks: it didn’t involve glitter and very colorful stripes. This painting was the only one with a daytime setting, and the colors are muted with green being the overpowering color. 

Back in the 80s, Dupus worked for a gay bar and lived in San Diego majority of his life. His paintings showcase his experience of being in the environment he grown up in: bars. He wanted his paintings to consume the audience and make them feel like they are a part of the scene. For instance: his use of glitter. It wasn’t by accident, merely a work of art! At first, the only painting that had glitter was on a person with drag makeup. Later he incorporated into two other painting. They’re like a shield, separating people or it can bring someone in and look a little bit deeper. Through all of his paintings there are little symbols and codes that only someone from the LGBT community can understand. For instance, there are various pride flags presented in majority of his paintings, bear paw prints, a lipstick print representing lesbians, and code dorthy. Dupes wanted to showcase the decreasing amount of gay bars in California. Connecting to my favorite piece, it is actually the last lesbian gay bar open in California. Dupus wanted to being awareness to this news as bars have an impactful and special meaning in his life. 

Myself, not being a part of this community had some insight into what an LGBT person experiences. I cannot say I truly understand, but I simply have an awareness and soft spot for it. I was not aware of the many symbols are associated with the LGBT community. Talking to Dupus had gotten me interested in researching the whole history as it dates back to centuries.


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