Bill Rangel


Vase of Flowers, 2014 20"W x 24"H acrylic on canvas

About Bill Rangel

My artwork defies convention and ultimately aims to spark dialog around human sexuality. Because breathing while being LGBTQ can potentially get you killed in many parts of today's world, any act of queerness, visible or not, consciously or not, is a political act. And because I identify as queer, that same sentiment is apparent throughout my wide-ranging body of artwork, starting from 1979. From my earliest exhibitions, the subject of queer life and, more specifically, representation of the male lower trunk, inclusive of the penis, buttocks, and anus, are shown in some of my artwork. My work covers a variety of subjects: daily domestic life, death, sex, nudes, politics, portraits, and self-portraits. I also paint nonfigurative imagery. 

In 1990, I co-founded the activist artist collective, Powers of Desire (POD), whose mission was to inform a broad audience and provoke direct action to end the AIDS pandemic. My current work expands on what I call "penis portraits" because concerted efforts to keep the public from viewing the image of the penis is evident throughout society, and, in my view, censorship of human genitals in art thwarts healthy dialog about human sexuality.  Most recently, I started making painted wood cutouts in the interest of further diversifying my art.

Selected Exhibitions

2014 - Pop-Up Broadway - historical portraits commissioned by CARS for Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative - Los Angeles, CA 

2013 - Seven Beauties - solo show - Echo Park Rising event - Echo Park, CA

2012 - Gushers - solo show - part of the Echo Park Art Walk - Echo Park, CA

2010 - The Mayors Rotating Art Exhibit - group show - City Hall - Los Angeles, CA

2005 - Latino New Works Festival: Que Viva La Evolution - group show curated by Leo Garcia - Highways Performance Space - Santa Monica, CA

2004 - The Leopard Spots: Between Art, Performance and Club Culture - group show curated by Alex Donis - 18th Street Arts Complex - Santa Monica, CA

1999 - Bill Rangel: Portals, Pains, and Interviews - solo show - 15 year retrospective - Advocate Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1997 - Wish List - solo show - Stepping Gallery - SDSU Imperial Valley Campus - Calexico, CA

1996 - Unknown Throne - solo show - Highways Gallery - Santa Monica, CA

1991 - VIVA!'s Mexico: Too Many Years of Denial, Invisibility, and Silence - group show - Beyond Baroque - Venice, CA

1990 - Spiritual Sexual Surgery - exterior mural - LACE - Los Angeles, CA

1987 - Salon des Independants - group show - Richard/Bennett Gallery - Los Angeles, CA

1987 - Paintings 1976-1986 - solo show - ten-year retrospective and lecture - Pierce College - Woodland Hills, CA

1986 - Electric Saint Allegories - solo show - Mezzanine Gallery - Sacramento, CA

1986 - Sacramento Area Group Gallery Exhibition - group show - Djurovich Galleries - Sacramento, CA

1986 - Artists for Disarmament - group show - Abstraction Gallery - Los Angeles, CA

1982 - California Exposition - group show - Sacramento, CA