Authenticity By way of Artwork – OutSmart Journal

    Authenticity By way of Artwork – OutSmart Journal

    Authenticity By way of Artwork – OutSmart Journal
    Caleb de Casper (Images by Roger Ho)

    When Caleb De Casper performs on the Legendary Artwork Automobile Ball later this month, audiences can “count on a little bit bit of fireplace.” De Casper’s show-stopping feats may be flashy, however they’re grounded in authenticity. Musically inclined from an early age, the performer has discovered a voice in music and makes use of his artwork as a method to be true to himself whereas advocating for the LGBTQ group.

    “That was a means for me to be highly effective and present individuals who I used to be once I walked into the room, as an alternative of letting them make their very own assumptions about me,” De Casper remembers. “I really feel like a number of queer individuals needed to develop up feeling like they’d no energy in any respect in social conditions. [Performing] is only a method to really feel that I’ve a number of energy. I figured that out very early—I discovered tips on how to principally management a room by my power, and simply take the reins.”

    Whereas the LGBTQ group all through historical past has toned down their queerness out of necessity, De Casper explains that queer artists at the moment are creating and performing in a time the place they don’t have to do this anymore. “Visibility as an out queer artist is extra essential than ever because the group continues to struggle towards the demonization of queer individuals.

    Caleb De Casper (Images by Roger Ho)

    “My greatest factor is authenticity. If I’m going to do one thing, I need to make it possible for it’s my resolution, as a result of on the finish of the day, artwork is a means for us to see one another. Particularly proper now on this actually shitty political local weather that we’ve all been thrown into, I feel it’s actually essential that we see one another—[and not just] caricatures of one another on the information, or sound bites of one another.”

    For De Casper, this implies being genuine even when authenticity is tough. Up to now 12 months, the pianist and songwriter needed to go away a job that didn’t like their public picture, or that they recognized as “genderqueer in on a regular basis life.”

    Whereas De Casper anxious that his artwork may need ruined his relationship along with his employer, his college students, or their households, he discovered that the other was true. Since leaving his earlier job, he has began his personal educating studio and now has individuals who come to him for classes as a result of of his authenticity, moderately than regardless of it.

    “My group helps me. The relationships that you simply make with different individuals in your group are [based on your] authenticity, and being a reliable particular person,” he says.

    The Texas-based artist is happy to come back to Houston, which they are saying “has the identical electrical energy as New York” whereas nonetheless retaining its Southern attraction. In addition to wanting ahead to revisiting NUA Thai in Midtown, De Casper is happy to deliver to life an Artwork Automobile Ball “manufacturing fantasy.” Whereas particulars are nonetheless being hammered out for the efficiency, De Casper is working by “schematics, blueprints, and logistics” to deliver an electrifying efficiency to the occasion.


    De Casper continues to pen songs and carry out for bigger and bigger crowds, with rising manufacturing values to match. His album Femme Boy, which was launched in 2019, represents the vary that the artist is able to, with 12 songs carried out in varied genres and types.

    “Three years in the past now, I used to be informed—for what I deemed to be the ultimate time—that I used to be too homosexual to achieve success with mainstream audiences. Quick-forward now to 2023, and I really feel like each week I get increasingly profitable,” he observes.

    De Casper’s reveals deliver collectively a mixture of views within the viewers, from these having extra mainstream tastes (together with many straight listeners) to LGBTQ followers of her music. The reveals additionally function a hyperlink between queer or trans identities and the bigger heteronormative tradition.

    With the mounting threats towards the LGBTQ group, De Casper believes it’s extra essential than ever for queer artists to be heard. Lately talking on a panel discussing artwork advocacy at South by Southwest in Austin—after which testifying towards Texas Senate Invoice 12 (generally known as the “Drag Queen Invoice”)—De Casper stays genuine to himself within the face of fierce opposition as he advocates for the LGBTQ group within the public enviornment.

    “Visibility is essential, as a result of we exist to attach with one another. We use music and artwork to indicate one another who we’re, and to attach. Proper now on this world, the place they’re making an attempt to demonize people who find themselves completely different, it’s simply so essential,” De Casper emphasizes. “It’s so essential to be a queer artist.”

    What: The Legendary Artwork Automobile Ball
    When: April 14
    The place: Orange Present Headquarters