Randal Pituk came to the realization one day that there has always been a gap between his two most significant identities: Deaf and Queer. Often he creates works that reflect his Deaf being and his queerness, but always separately. For this piece, he wanted to be bold and straightforward in a way that represents both communities, so the word “pride” is depicted in fingerspelling; each handshape represents each color in the rainbow flag.
In his own telling, he ran into a logistical challenge: Six colors in the flag, but only five letters in “pride.” His solution: Instead of trying to fit all six colors in five handshapes, he used a blue-purple hue in the background to contrast with the handshapes. Additionally, this painting predates 2017, meaning that he worked from an older version of the Pride flag, designed in 1979 by Gilbert Baker. Because of that, this work does not include the later version designed by Daniel Quasar, known as the “Progress Pride” flag and which includes stripes of brown, black, pink, white, and light blue to acknowledge and spotlight queer people of color and trans people.
Working in oil, his primary influence has been Impressionism because of its emphasis on color in each brushstroke, as is visible in his work here.