Gonzalo Orquín

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Gonzalo Orquín
Born1982 (age 36–37)
Seville, Spain
OccupationArtist, photographer

Gonzalo Orquín is a Spanish artist and photographer based in Rome, Italy, best known for his controversial 2013 photo series, titled "Sí, quiero", featuring gay and lesbian couples kissing in Roman Catholic churches in Rome.


Gonzalo Orquìn 2015.jpg



Early life and education[edit]

Orquín was born in Seville, Spain, in 1982.[1] He studied Fine Arts at the University of Seville from 2000–2004 and the University of Perugia in Italy in 2005.[2] He moved to Italy from Spain in 2004.[2]


Gonzalo Orquìn-Interno nozze- oil on canvas 2013.jpg



The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art has described his works as "pronouncedly domestic, intimate, post-coital, and romantic. Set in common place interiors of muted tones, his subjects which include cats, dogs, solitary men and women, as well as gay and straight couples, display a contemplative depth of emotion."[2]

His first exhibition was in 2000 in Seville, when he was only 18 years old.[1] His next exhibition was in Sulmona, Italy, in 2006, and most of rest of his more than 20 recent exhibitions have been in Italy as well, though he has been featured in galleries in France, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the United States.[1]

Sí, quiero[edit]

In 2013, Orquín shot a photo series of gay and lesbian couples, mostly friends and acquaintances,[3] kissing in Roman Catholic churches in Rome. He planned to include the photos in an exhibition titled "Trialogo," which was scheduled to open at the Galleria L'Opera in Rome.[4]

However, before they could be shown, Vatican City officials sent a letter threatening legal action should the photos be shown.[4][5][6] Spokesman Claudio Tanturri told a newspaper that the photos violate the Constitution of Italy, saying:

"Italian constitutional law safeguards an individual’s religious feeling and the function of places of worship. Therefore photos that are not suitable and do not conform to the spirituality of the place offend and infringe upon the advancement of man in the particular place for the expression of faith."[5]

Orquín spoke to lawyers and decided not to exhibit the photos "for security reasons," but maintained that lawyers were working on the case and that he hoped the photos would be shown eventually.[5] As an act of protest, he posted on his Facebook page a picture of the photos on the museum wall covered in black paper and crosses fashioned out of black tape pasted to the wall.[5] Orquín told reporters that he found Italy to be "a very homophobic country," saying "There aren't other countries in Europe or the West that are backward like this."[5] Gay rights groups in Italy were quick to protest. Flavio Romani, President of the group Arcigay, strongly criticized the Vatican's reaction, saying:

"In the images in which the church have seen provocation, I see an exchange of love, a type of public worship that creates harmony not contrast. The indignation of the Catholic Church, therefore, is extremely grotesque."[5]

In 2014, it was announced that the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art would be hosting the exhibit under the title, "Si, quiero", (English: "Yes, I want").[2][4]


Personal life[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Gonzalo Orquin – Bio". www.gonzaloorquin.com. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art – Gonzalo Orquin – Si, quiero". www.leslielohman.org. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Omosessualità, baci "rubati" in chiesa: la mostra" [Homosexuality, "stolen" kiss in church: the exhibition]. La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Vatican-Condemned Art Installation Gets New Life in NYC". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "LOOK: Vatican Kills Gay Photo Exhibit". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Vatican reportedly threatens to retaliate after gay couples kiss inside Italian churches". NY Daily News. Retrieved 27 March 2016.