What's It All About?

Join us for an immersive lecture, surrounded by the extraordinary work of Paul Wonner and Theophilus Brown, whose groundbreaking career is the subject of an exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum: Breaking the Rules.

Wonner and Brown, who were partners for over five decades, lived during the repressive McCarthy era and experienced the rise of Abstract Expressionism that revolutionized the art scene.

The lecture will reveal how both artists belong to a distinguished lineage of trailblazing artists who defied societal constraints by embedding gay themes within a symphony of coded imagery. Wonner and Brown’s transgressive paintings not only eluded the mainstream’s retribution but also cast a lasting influence on queer artists to this day.

Mark a date on your calendar for an event that promises to deepen your appreciation, peeling back the layers of LGBTQ creativity that have indelibly shaped our cultural landscape, ensuring that the voices of queer creators, once suppressed, are now celebrated in their vibrant authenticity.

Advance tickets recommended.

Museum members: $12

Non-members: $18


About the Speaker

Ignacio Darnaude is an art scholar, lecturer, and film producer whose expertise lies in deciphering the intricate creative codes employed by queer artists to express their forbidden desires during repressive times.

Having carved a remarkable path in Hollywood’s studio system, Mr. Darnaude relinquished his roles as Head of International Marketing for industry giants Disney and Sony Pictures to develop the groundbreaking docuseries, “Hiding in Plain Sight – Breaking the Queer Code in Art,” a revelatory exploration into the revolutionary impact of queer artists and their covert visual language on mainstream culture throughout history.

A regular contributor to the Gay & Lesbian Review magazine, Mr. Darnaude was honored with an Arts Grant from the City of West Hollywood for his acclaimed 4-lecture series, “Breaking the Gay Code in Art,” currently taking place within U.S. campuses, LGBTQ Centers, and globally via Zoom, fostering enlightening dialogues across different nations and cultures.

Mr. Darnaude was a keynote speaker at the prestigious Social Equity Conference orchestrated by the University of San Francisco. His resonant lecture, “Don’t Say Gay – the Erasure of Queerness in Art,” challenged conventional narratives still affecting the art world. Additionally, he was an esteemed panelist at a landmark event organized by the New York Historical Society titled “Coded: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker,” where he enriched our understanding of concealed artistic narratives.

Mr. Darnaude’s unwavering dedication and thought-provoking insights illuminate the obscured corners of art history, ensuring that the voices of queer creators, once suppressed, are now celebrated in their vibrant authenticity.

We look forward

to having you


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