In what ways do you interpret yourself and your own values into your work?
For the last five years, I have drawn inspiration for my work from the queer community, of which I am myself a member and therefore also a subject. As my work has developed, it has become autobiographical, sharing my coming out experience. I choose to expose myself and my loved ones, offering a view that’s simple but deeply intimate. It is often daunting and sometimes risky to fold this degree of vulnerability into what I create, but I find the risk worth the reward. In the artistic contexts where I am depicting someone close to me, or someplace altogether imagined, or somewhere in between, compassion and respect are my primary drivers.
“Representation” and “diversity” are attractive buzzwords that everyone might be inspired to attach to their work in the current political and economic climate. My art has always done these things, because it has always been these things. I am a queer artist making queer art in a time and place in which the LGBTQ+ community is once again facing discrimination at every level, be it social, physical, or political. My art offers an escape from the harsh realities facing queers by creating spaces where my audience can be held and seen. I offer my work as a shield, a shelter, a cup of tea, a warm blanket. It serves as a reminder to both those who struggle to remember and those who refuse to accept that we aren’t going anywhere, and we will continue to experience joy, tenderness, love, passion…and sex.