(January 20, 1958 - November 3, 1995) U.S.A.
Mixed-media painter, Queercore performance artist
Jerome Caja was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in a large strict Catholic family. One of 11 sons, Jerome called it a family of jocks, although he himself was a frail sickly child. Jerome attended Cleveland State University where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1984. He then moved to San Francisco to continue his art education and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1986.
In the late 1980s, Jerome became a well-known artistic personality within the radical gay scene in San Francisco. He performed as a drag queen and go-go dancer in San Francisco's queer punk nightclubs, where his performance art has been described as "post-apocalyptic deconstructive drag." In one Easter performance at Club Uranus, Jerome in drag performed an elaborate reenactment of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Jerome crafted miniature mixed-media artworks which he created from everyday materials, especially those used by drag queens such as nail polish, sequins, lace and glitter. Many of Jerome's works were influenced by Catholic iconography and satirized Christian morality.
According to Jerome, he tested positive for HIV around 1989 and began to show symptoms of sickness around 1992. In September and August 1995, the Archives of American Art recorded an oral history interview with Jerome Caja. He died of AIDS related complications in San Francisco, aged 37.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) twice provided exhibits of paintings by Jerome Caja. Before his death, Jerome gifted his unsold artworks to the SFMOMA. Jerome's personal papers and effects are archived in the Smithsonian Institution.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia