I find myself, like many queer people I know, holding my thoughts and feelings in check around others. And by doing this I have become exhausted by trying to force myself to fit into the expectations of the heterocentric world we live in. I am creating art that is meant for queer spaces and providing a platform for this marginalized community. I’m trying to explore the queerness that exists outside traditionally accepted norms. I want to highlight these aspects of my identity that traditionally get push back from those outside our community.
My work currently it is centered on fiber arts and image transfers. In Invoking queerness, I used bright colors and symbols commonly associated with the queer community and added layers of images from my friends in ways that they most represent queerness in their own minds. In the series Portraits of a man I don’t know, I have used the medium of embroidery to do linework portraits of my father on found materials. I am talking about the struggles with understanding parts of his past kept hidden from me until after his death and how that could have changed our family life. In distortion of memory, I continue this discussion by slowly distorting his image on slowly unraveling fabric. This is to show how my understanding of his has been distorted and changed from the new information and how his life seems to be unraveling before me. The series A Life not lived, is based on images from the queer community in the places my father lived, in the time that he lived there. I have used a processes of image transfers with resists to signify his absence from those places.
I have been influenced by the work of many artists including Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Keith Haring, Tom of Finland, George Platt Lynes, and Robert Mapplethorpe. These artists helped push the conversation about queer culture into the art world and I am trying to honor their work while pushing forward with my own part in this conversation. Currently I am looking at artists Like Aaron McIntosh, L.J. Roberts, John Thomas Paradiso, and Michael Espenoza. Like these artists, much of my subject matter addresses the honoring of queer historical narratives, the world of queer fetish or tackling ideas of conversion therapy and the idea of a life not lived. I do this by creating new objects to push the dialogue forward and by distorting images from the past to highlight missing information.