Jerome Caja & Anna van der Meulen

Found—The Lost Art of Jerome Caja

This is a jewel-box exhibition of paintings, sculptures, photos, and reliquaries rarely seen since Jerome’s death in 1995. These “Little Lovelies” (a term coined by Jerome himself) are exquisite miniatures painted with everything you would find in a drag queen's handbag (nail polish, lipstick, eye liner, glitter).

Humor and horror vie for center stage as Jerome’s imaginary cast of characters perform the Danse Macabre. Bozo the Clown feeds fruit pies to an emaciated Christ. Venuses with penises seduce fiery devils in the underworld. Eggs ascend to heaven sunny-side-up.

Jerome’s canvases include pistachio shells, lockets, discarded bottle caps, and small scraps of paper. Hidden within these elaborate works you will find human ash, locks of hair, fingernails, and even the artist's own HIV+ blood.

Also on exhibit are unfinished paintings discovered on Jerome’s palette when he died, various handmade accessories from famous performances, and wild drag photos of Jerome taken by loved ones.

Step into this vivid snapshot of San Francisco’s radical queer past and see for yourself the remains of a modern-day saint!

—Anthony Cianciolo

Works in the Exhibition

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