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Move Over, Barbie — This Queer Chicana Artist Built Her Own Dream House

“If society isn't going to make room for bodies like mine, then I will.”

Image credit: Bibs Moreno

Gabriela Ruiz is building her first home. On July 13, the Los Angeles-based designer, model, and performance artist known to her fans as Leather Papi is opening her first solo installation, “Haus,” a multi-room walk-through exhibition reimagining a home’s traditional rooms. There’s a kitchen, a bathroom, a living room, a bedroom — plus, one not-so-traditional dungeon. In a conversation with GOOD, the queer Chicana artist and child of immigrants opened up about the sex- and body-positive origins underpinning her unusual new digs, along with what it’s like to make her way in the art world without a traditional support system.

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