Metro Weekly

Gallery: Damon Arhos’ “I Love To Hate You”

Interdisciplinary artist shows contradictions experienced as a gay man

Damon Arhos — Image by Damon Arhos

The D.C.-based interdisciplinary artist Damon Arhos attempts to show the contradictory feelings and circumstances he often experiences as a gay man in today’s world: both proud and shamed, affirmed and reviled.

Such a disorienting state of affairs is represented or reflected in “I Love To Hate You,” a series of artworks currently on display at the contemporary art gallery now known as IA&A at Hillyer.

In his painting series The Antidote, for instance, Arhos evokes the stigma and shame associated with being HIV-positive, as well as with taking Truvada as an HIV preventative measure. Yesterday’s 30, filmed on Super 8, mourns the tragic loss of 30 transgender people in the United States in 2017. Finally, with Trapped, Arhos has constructed a lustrous tower out of rat traps enhanced with metallic paint, intended as a metaphor for how many LGBTQ Americans feel when facing both embrace and disdain.

Now to Sept. 2. IA&A at Hillyer, 9 Hillyer Court NW. Call 202-338-0325 or visit

Damon Arhos: I Love To Hate You — Image by Damon Arhos / Truvada

Damon Arhos: I Love To Hate You

Damon Arhos: I Love To Hate You (detail)

Damon Arhos: I Love To Hate You (detail)

Damon Arhos: I Love To Hate You (detail)

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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