The month of June is a time to celebrate the LGBTQ community and reflect on the advances of queer people to strengthen civil liberties around the world, even in a moment of great political uncertainty. It’s also a good opportunity to spotlight the richness and diversity of culture we have within the community. Hyperallergic is commemorating Pride Month by featuring one contemporary queer artist per day on the website and letting them speak for themselves. Click here to participate.
Age: 42, how is that even possible?
Location: San Francisco
Artistic Medium: Jewelry, Objects, Sculpture
Who are you and what do you do?
What I make isn’t what people expect when they hear “jewelry.” The pieces are my attempt to capture space, frame that space, and then invite a person into the space. Really, they are interactive line drawings. They don’t make sense until there is a push-pull between the created boundary and the body.
Like most queers, I had to find my own space, create then define my identity, and fight for my boundaries to be seen and respected. This happened while simultaneously recognizing that each discovery and definition is a step into and towards a new possibility, so rigidity wasn’t going to work. My work reflects my experience with identity as flexible and uniquely mine, but also shared with a community of fierce, exploratory, boundary-questioning queers.
What are the top three greatest influences on your work?
The spaces within and between architecture, reading (especially science fiction, fantasy, and afrofuturism), and conversations with queer friends and chosen family.
Describe your coffee order.
A pour over made at home in my slippers. A seven-dollar coffee just pisses me off.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Waking up early on Sunday mornings to go to a twelve-step meeting that focuses on establishing and maintaining boundaries.
What constitutes a perfect day?
One kind of perfect day is laying in a hammock in the shade with my girlfriend in Golden Gate Park, doing nothing. Another would be one of those days in the studio where the material, my hands, and my thoughts are all in perfect sync and things fall together in unexpected and beautiful ways.
What was your favorite exhibition from last year?
Sarah Lucus: Au Naturel at the New Museum
What would your superpower be if you had one?
Emanating calm like a sonic wave across great distances, like sending out a sonic boom of self-worth and healing. That is some West Coast hippie ass shit, but that’s what I want.
Tell us a lie about yourself.
I’m a happy go-lucky type of queer.
What is one question you wish somebody would ask about your work?
What is the danger of space?
What is the greatest threat to humanity?
What did you make when you first started making art?
I made containers — my attempt to create and capture space goes way back — and a series of wearable, forged fetish objects inspired by medieval torture devices.
Do you prefer spilling the tea or throwing shade?
Meh, I’m just not that gay.
What is your all-time favorite work of art?
Still looking for it.
What are your plans for pride month?
Usually I host a brunch at my studio before Dyke March, but this year my studio is a disaster of exhibition preparation. I’m feeling deprived and grateful at the same time.
Back in my day…
As a pissed-off and searching high school student, I would sit for hours at the now-defunct Little Frida’s lesbian cafe in Los Angeles, a place similar to The Planet in the L-Word, in hope that some hot woman would explain the world to me, preferably without words. Alas, that never happened. I’m sure I looked like jail bait to them, dressed in all black with spikes and rips in my clothes. Instead, I found my way through less conventional paths like a womyn’s gathering in Arkansas; then a blacksmithing workshop in Colorado followed by construction in Oakland; and, surprisingly, in dark corners at the Eagle (a gay leather bar) in San Francisco. I traveled by thumb, two-wheels, and 18-wheels in a time where community had to found IRL.
Name one guilty pleasure.
Greatest queer icon of the internet: Babadook, Momo, or a pervading sense of existential angst?
A pervading sense of existential angst.
Is there enough support for queer artists where you live?
What do you mean “enough?” Is there ever enough support for artists anywhere?
How do you stay cool during the summer?
In San Francisco, we don’t have summer exactly, maybe a few hot days here and there that people get really excited about, but mostly, I just chase the shade.
What is your favorite type of milk?
Milk is disgusting, I’ve been rejecting it since I was a tiny babe.
“Queer Artists in Their Own Words” is an ongoing feature happening every day in the month of June. For prior posts in the series, please click here.
They Managed to Mess Up an Art Heist Movie
There must be a lesson in Vasilis Katsoupis’s film Inside about the vacuousness of the art market or the claustrophobia of exhibition spaces — I just don’t care.
Ten Painful Stories of the Dutch Colonial Slave Trade
The Rijksmuseum’s traveling show strives to remind us that we are all, in some way, a part of this chapter of human history, whose legacy continues today.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Textured Histories at Shiprock Santa Fe
The Santa Fe gallery features Indigenous textiles and jewelry from the early 19th century to today.
Renaissance Portrait of “Ugly Duchess” Likely Depicts a Man
A curator at London’s National Gallery believes the subject of painter Quinten Massys’s painting “is most likely a he.”
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Hokusai’s “Great Wave” Makes a Splash at Auction
An edition of the iconic woodblock print broke records when it sold for $2.8M this week.
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Back With an Inflatable Dolphin
Episode four, in which artists tackled themes of justice and injustice, was the most lifeless of the reality TV show so far.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture
Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.
Tickets to Sold-Out Vermeer Show Are Going for Hundreds
The online resale market for the Rijksmuseum’s smash exhibition is booming, with tickets selling on eBay for over $2K.
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?