The mystery surrounding the production of erotic gay fumetto or comics in the 1970s and 1980s by the editor Renzo Barbieri is not so much associated with these being an erratic body of work produced by anonymous cartoonists and writers, most of them heterosexual and working on a commission basis, but rather with how these constructed and popularised (hundreds of thousands of copies were published) some stereotypes regarding homosexuality at the time only to then modify them as society progressed while at the same time creating a fantasy that, through several aesthetic discoveries, at times embraced delirium.
Rolando from Rolando del Fico and Gary from Sukia are two of the main characters of that period who best demonstrate this evolution. The first, Rolando, created for humorous purposes, represents the closet queer organised around secret communities, spaces and codes. The second, Gary, is the proud queer empowered by sexual freedom who, without realising it, constitutes one of the first niches of gay marketing, before the VHS put an end to the comic as a vehicle for porn and HIV did the same to unbridled sexuality.
Rolando e Gary invokes these characters from current times to make visible and to reflect upon the LGTBI memory, popular culture and pornography consumption, experimenting in turn, as it has already done on other occasions, with alternative distribution models and with the comic as a borderline space within the art institution.
Rolando e Gary at El Palomar is a preview to one of the works that Francesc Ruiz will present in May at the Venice Biennale as part of the project Los Sujetos commissioned by Martí Manen for the Spanish Pavilion.