Tonight's fabulous queer artist feature is Nuno Abelho with photography by Ryan Stanford
My name is Nuno Abelho. I was born in Lisbon, Portugal, but I grew up in small towns in the countryside of Portugal.
It was not easy, Portugal it’s a very conservative country, even if we have wonderful laws, the prejudice and moral issues about sexuality remain deeply settled in peoples mind and acts. Since I can remember, I always preferred to stay quietly drawing, inventing my own world, than playing with other kids, specially if the plays involved sports. It’s kind a cliché, I think, but it’s true. I spent most of the time drawing paper dolls and building houses out of card boxes. My interest was the human figure. That took me to fashion, I could draw the human figure and express different moods with the clothes.
My favourite fashion designers were Lacroix and Yves Saint Laurent, and after those, I discovered Gaultier, Montana, and Alexander McQueen in the late 90’s. I graduated in Fashion Design and I work for my own brand. Also, I develop collections for other companies, costumes for theatre and bespoke/made-to-order garments for a private clientele.
A couple years ago I returned to College, I’m studying Fine Arts just for my own satisfaction and to keep my mind challenged. I’m very interested in photography, analog and digital. I love to work at the lab. It’s curious that I found that my photos are not appreciated by my teachers at college. Because I tend to photograph fashion or nude men. I discovered that even people involved in Art feel prejudice about subjects that depict any sexual subject or theme. And the male body representation is still a taboo, I believe that this way of thinking is strongly settled in all areas, even in the Arts. I have this feeling that we live in a fake illusion of freedom and civil rights, and I don’t think those are guaranteed. I’m not very optimistic about society. Trough Social Media I made contacts with artists and photographers like Ryan Stanford in Los Angeles. That aspect of the time we live, of instant information and global communication, it’s amazing. I started collaborations with photographers around the world, sending my designs for them. I’m always thrilled to see how they use my clothes in the photos, how they interpret my designs and imprint their own vision and aesthetic over my work.