Laura Aguilar

Luis Alfaro

Don Bachardy

Ben Cuevas


Vaginal Davis

Tony De Carlo

Alison De La Cruz

Anthony Friedkin

Olga Garcia-Echeverria

Rudi Gerneich

Ken Gonzales-Day

Susan "Phranc" Gottlieb

Aurora Guerrero

Robert "Cyclona" Legorreta

Catherine Lord

Guglio "Gronk" Nicandro

Roy Rogers Oldenkamp

Monica Palacios

Antonio Rael

Julio Salgado

Terisa Siagatonu

Joey Terrill

Ryan Trecartin



Joey Terrill

  • Artist Joey Terrill
  • Joey's Art
  • Contribuitor Martha Izquierdo

Joey Terrill was born and raised in Los Angeles as a second generation Mexican American whose art reflects a coming together of his Chicano and queer identity. Even though at times these two identities can conflict with one another Terrill is able to bring them together in interesting ways. Terrill went to Immaculate Heart College from 1973-76 and then to Cal State LA in 2002-04. He has been involved in grass roots political AIDS activism for over 20 years. He was first diagnosed with HIV at the age of 25 and talks about the effects of long term use of HIV medications which is represented in his art work.

What caught my attention was Terrill's style of painting and subjects which ranged from the sensual homoerotic to the festive embracing life and joy captured in his still life scenes. This following passage accurately describes Terrill's complexities that come across in his paintings saying,"Gay men involved in the Chicano movement are routinely charged with remaining silent on the issue of sexuality, but Terrill’s deep commitment to racial/ethnic civil rights and empowerment has been inextricably bound to his involvement in queer activism"(Rodriguez 467). Even though at times the Chicano movement and the LGBT civil rights movements can conflict with their ideas of "values" Terrill is able to bring them together in a beautiful way.

Joey Terril's website: www.joeyterrillartist.com

Jeff, Victor, Luiz, and George

Joey Terrill's Jeff, Victor, Luiz and George has a festive tone to it as the men in the painting are in inverted costumes with big smiles on their faces or with their mouth wide open in laughter. The Miller beer can is another piece of the scene that adds playfulness to this captured moment of friends at a party. The men in this scene are also breaking down gender roles as they are dressed in women's clothing and makeup. Flowers are usually associated with women but in this scene the men have numerous flowers in their hair along with jewelry hanging from their ears. Jeff is dressed as Frida Kahlo which he specifically chose to dress as for a reason. Frieda Kahlo is one of the most influential avant-garde female artists of Mexico and he is paying homage to her by cross dressing and becoming her which at the same time is crossing the lines of gender roles as well.

These friends seem to have an intimate relationship as they are placed closed to each other in this scene. They are all touching each other and have a smile on their face or have their mouths wide open in laughter adding to the tone of camaraderie. The title of the painting also suggests this as each of the characters name is divulged creating a sense of intimacy rather than a couple of nameless strangers. Overall this a fun painting with many colors and sounds that invites the viewer to enter this close circle of friends and embrace the inverse without judgment.

Oscar Ernesto

Oscar Ernesto is another fun piece with a tone of playfulness and youth conveyed through the bright colors and the costume.  This self-portrait is filled with memories and a celebration of life as Terrill extracts these emotions from a photograph when he was 25 on the cusp of life first moving to New York in 1980. The painting is done retrospectively 25 years after the picture is taken commemorating that moment before he was diagnosed with HIV and also as a celebration of life.

This piece feels very personal as Terrill is in a room surrounded by various fun objects. The bright yellow on the walls of the room gives off a warm and welcoming tone along with his colorful collection of personal images on the wall such as the purple and green skulls, flowers, a bat, paintings, etc. His costume also adds to the light-hearted tone as the young Terrill has angel wings and a domino-like mask. Many of Terrill’s painting revolve around the malleability of the costume as these subjects are given the freedom to become whatever they wish behind the playfulness of make-up and masks.

La Historia de Amor

This image that combines both Terrill’s Chicano identity and his gay identity is groundbreaking as he converts a classic image seen in the Latino community and reinvents it into something new and radical. Joey Terrill explains this piece on his website saying,“In 1994, the gay and lesbian Latino arts group known as VIVA did a calendar project addressing support for and discussion of HIV in the Latino community. Based on the concept of the calendarios which are given out by Mexican bakeries, carnecerias, markets and restaurants VIVA wanted an image that was culturally a synthesis of both our Latino/Mexican heritage and our identity as queer/gay” (Terrill). Sometimes the traditional ideologies of the Chicano identity and Mexican traditions of machismo conflict with the ideologies of the LGBT identity but Terrill has managed to bring these two together in this piece cohesively. 

The Aztec legend says that Ixtaccihuatl waited for her lover the warrior Popocapetl until she believed him to die in battle and killed herself. Popcapetl finally arrives but too late and carries her dead body to the top of the volcanoes to try and revive her. Terrill takes this traditional story of love and recreates it to a homosexual story of love replacing the dead female figure with instead a sleeping male figure. By having the male subject in the image sleeping, Terrill invokes a tone of hope rather than a depressing tale of star-crossed lovers. Also by naming it “La Historia de Amor” Terrill is stating that homosexual love has a long history.



I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have always been fascinated and enthralled by literature. I attended Cerritos Community College for two years and received my A.A. in English.

I then transferred to UCLA where I am currently finishing up on my B.A. in American Literature and Culture. My main focus has been on the Chicano literary perspective under the American literature umbrella and the complexity of the "third space." I plan to apply to law school and pursue a career in immigration law.