Art History

Back to Blog March 7, 2024

Li Machado (PhD candidate) wins 2024 Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art

Author: Jane DeRose Evans

The fellowship is for Li to work on his dissertation, "Intricately Woven: Networks of Desire in Queer Chicanx L.A., 1985-2020", which examines networks of queer Chicanx sociability and desire in Los Angeles between 1985 and 2020, as captured through portraiture, photography, and drawing. Drawing upon the historical contributions of Chicana and Latina feminist artists, authors, scholars, and activists in advocating for the visibility of the intersectional queer subject, the project demonstrates how five L.A.-based artists – Laura Aguilar, Reynaldo Rivera, Hector Silva, Shizu Saldamando, and Julio Salgado – have upended traditional conceptions of the Chicanx subject through their portrayal of openly queer likenesses and bodies. In doing so, their work also often takes on an archival quality, documenting tangled weaves of friendships, sexual encounters, club scenes, border crossings, and oral histories. The project takes the AIDS crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic as thematic frameworks, in which vital portrayals of closeness and intimacy persist even in the face of public health crises and institutional homophobia.

Li is coming off of a Smithsonian American Art Museum Fellowship for 2023-2024, where he researched his project, "Testimonios: The Portrait as Archive and Activism in Queer Chicanx Los Angeles".

We're so proud of you, Li!