Fatter IRL Is the Art Exhibit That's Getting Representation Right

Fatter IRL

Black, Latino, trans, queer—contemporary art isn’t shy when depicting the beauty and lives of underrepresented groups. Yet Annie Rose thinks that today’s art can go even further.

“I wanted to shift the focus to a group of people that I felt were very neglected,” Rose tells Out. “And that’s fat people.”

Rose has curated Fatter IRL, an exhibit celebrating plus-size artists and bodies. During the grand opening Oct. 15 at Pfizer in Brooklyn, art lovers from all over the city came out to see works venerating bodies that, Rose admits, challenge the “very normatively attractive people that get the most attention” in art.

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Although the fashion industry has started including plus-size models in ad campaigns, Rose feels it’s not enough. 

"When I see a super thin model it's like, ‘Eh I could never look like that so it's not even threatening,’" she says. "But when I see a plus-size campaign and the women are still normatively attractive I feel inadequate, like I'm not even a good fat person." 

Fatter IRL does more than showcase the beauty of plus-sized individuals. The exhibit also gives the community a chance to express their passions away from their online havens like Tumblr.

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“Fat is a very stigmatized word,” Rose says. “A lot of fat activism happens on the Internet, so I knew people from that. It’s bringing these people known from social media into real life.”

Once they arrived, Rose felt the energy in the room.

“Sometimes you go to art openings and it’s a very cold environment,” she says. “The opening was so not like that, not your average crowd. It was fat people, thin people, people of color, people with disabilities—people who I never see at art shows.

Fatter IRL closes Saturday, Nov. 5, at Pfizer, 630 Flushing Avenue, 5th Floor, Brooklyn.

Tags: Art & Books

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