#FollowFriday, June 22: You Should Be Following These 5 Artists, Photographers and Performers

From India to London, New York to Copenhagen, the five fabulous, inspirational Instagrammers we’re highlighting this week each have a different way of expressing their art and bearing their soul. We hope they inspire you to live the second half of 2018 with twice as much passion!

1. @queerkingofdiamonds

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The simplistic use of form and color by Queer King of Diamonds makes some pieces of his art look downright timeless. It’s powerful stuff from a closeted artist living in India.

He says, “I’m quite a late, late bloomer. It took me a long time to realize my feelings towards men, and I am still coming to terms with it. I started my gay art projects to express my loneliness, my desires and libido. I just wanted to express my hidden feelings of love and lust. I love to make simpler graphic art, to present sexuality in simpler and sometimes in an indirect, suggestive or maybe innocent manner.”

2. @jaxieworld

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Jaxie is a bearded artsy drag queen from Copenhagen, Denmark, whose quirky and jaw-droppingly original looks would give any of RuPaul’s All Stars a run for their hunny. As well as performing, she runs ‘gender-bending’ workshops throughout Europe.

“I’m a very visual and conceptual queen who loves interacting with my audience, having a good time while making a difference,” he says. “What I do is very gender-bender oriented because we need to pick up all the crayons in the box instead of just the blue and pink one.”

On drag, he says it’s about “evoking emotions we either didn’t know we had in us or we need to feel. Whether it’s sorrow, joy, empathy or even better: being disgusted and attracted at the same time!”

3. @shebetko

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Anton Shebetko is a Ukrainian artist and photographer based in Amsterdam. We love the vibrancy and uniqueness of his portraits of half-naked guys in strange positions involving unusual perspectives on everyday items. They’re extraordinarily and surprisingly sexy.

But there’s a lot more to this artist than these fabulous images. He’s been working with the LGBTQ community in Ukraine on a number of projects in recent years, including “We Were Here,” a series of portraits of LGBTQ soldiers and volunteers who took part in the war in eastern Ukraine, part of this year’s KyivPride media campaign.

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Julien, #portrait

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“Common people” is another series of “faceless” Ukrainian closeted gays, and is now showing in the Robert Kananaj gallery in Toronto, Canada.

4. @gingersiany

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Siân Williams is an experimental filmmaker, performer and writer identifying as genderqueer, gender-fluid or androgynous.

“I will accept any pronouns,” she says. “Although issues surrounding LGBTQ+ and women’s rights in ‘the West’ have improved, there is still much more work to be done. I feel female queerness in particular has been pushed into the darkness.”

“When it comes to my art I have no limitations and little inhibitions,” says Sian. “I like to push myself, my body, the performers and the viewer to the extremes.”

Her recent work with photographer Ben Hopper, The Lesbian Phallus is well worth checking out. It challenges mainstream views of lesbian sex and bring to light female ‘tops’ and ‘bottoms.’

5. @teraj08

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The former resident performer at Manhattan’s trendy Iguana Lounge, singer and songwriter Teraj is a rising maverick in the world of Pop and R&B.

He says, “Don’t believe them when they say ‘You can never do that.’ Be brave and take center stage. For generations you’ll pave the way. Yes! You can do that. Defy and prove them all wrong.” ​

His DEFY, Pt. 1​ is a fusion of Pop, R&B and EDM that showcases ​Teraj​’s soulful voice. We are enjoying his unique sound!

Happy #FollowFriday! And follow Hornet on Instagram, too!

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