“This road [in rural Illinois] doesn’t get much travel. I use [it] for bike rides because, in the course of a 14- or 15-mile ride, I usually only encounter one vehicle. On a recent early- afternoon ride, a pickup truck came up behind me, and, as I typically do, I pulled my bike over into the grass so they could go by. As the truck passed me, someone in the cab threw a beer can in my direction and yelled out the open window. The profanity he used suggested the truck’s occupants were confused about my sexual orientation, and this confusion had clearly made them angry. I built and painted the sign the next day and then placed it at the spot where my new friends had tried to offer me a beverage. It was still standing the next morning as I made my way to work, but by Monday night it had been knocked down. It’s now resting comfortably on the floor of my shed.”  –ARTIST JOEL ROSS, on the photo Be Gay, part of Joel Ross Roadside: A Presentation of Recent Field Experiments and Prototypes

GO: Thru Jun 13. Moniquemeloche, 118 N Peoria. moniquemeloche.com


Photograph: Joel Ross, detail of Be Gay, 2008, Courtesy of the artist and MoniqueMeloche Gallery, Chicago