Hugo Gyrl, street artist and curator from New Orleans, says they were an angsty teen. They left art school without a degree because they could not submit to the constraints of controlled work and preferred freedom to street work. At the same time, they found the conditions of street work - often illegal - more exciting than working in galleries' freedom cages. There are many methods of creating art, according to Hugo Gyrl, and for them it is a necessity. If they can't create art, they feel bad.
I want to create something positive for people, but also champion an alternate view of queerness, and bring that into graffiti, which is, as you may imagine, not exactly the queerest or most feminist place. For me, it’s been a weird lane to choose, being a queer graffiti writer. It’s not a lane that often exists.
Hugo Gyrl has worked in many large cities and their work can be seen on numerous house and gallery walls. While they are mostly dressed in costumes and their identity has remained a mystery, the comic allusions and feminist symbolism in their art have created a sworn fan community.
You Gay Girl
Affirmative statements like "You Go Girl" can be seen on walls from New Orleans' French Quarter to Bywater. But when Hugo Gyrl is not throwing contemplative LGBTQIA-themed graphics on the walls, they curate and organize local exhibitions with performances such as the infamous Drag Wrestling Match ChokeHole ("XXXtreme Drag Wrestling") and the horror comedy game The Subletter's Omen.
Gyrl is considered one of the most important representatives of the street art scene in New Orleans. On the occasion of the Pride Festival in spring 2018 they rewrote their moniker You Go Girl light-footedly into a You Gay Girl – on a larger-than-life mural.