I create paintings with figurative and landscape imagery inspired by the intersection of transgender life and the natural world. Much like the body of the Earth, transgender bodies are subjected to Post-colonial Capitalism’s needs––which rely on binaries, alienation, hierarchies, and extraction to survive. And like the Earth, trans people are in a constant fight to defend themselves, their autonomy, their beauty, and their futurity each day.
As I materialize the connection between transgender identity and the Earth, I put purposeful care into depicting my subjects with paint––whether it be my body, a friend’s, or a tree. In my paintings, I purposefully shift between rendering modes. I use color, rendering, mark-making, and composition to control where the viewer is allowed and refused visual information. My palettes are frequently inspired by the unusual, saturated and surreal colors found in our adapting world.
Physicist and poet Karen Barad writes on TransMaterialities: “Materiality in its entangled psychic and physical manifestations is always already a patchwork, a suturing of disparate parts.” As I paint, I ask myself: Who cares for these patchworked bodies, these assemblages––the eroding coastline and my transgender friends?