Jarvis Boyland

Region: Midwest

I explore the complexities of both Blackness and queerness, and the ways their intersection has shaped me. My themes stem from highly charged and disjointed emotions as I come to terms with self-identity and unpack my feelings toward men. The process of rejecting my Southern, conservative, and religious upbringing has shaped the evolution of my practice.

My portraiture navigates black identity—situated between racism in queer communities and homophobia and heterosexism in Black communities. I am interested in the domestic space as the foundation of social ideologies. I emphasize the idealization of intimacy and the nuances of depicting men who simultaneously show confidence, charisma, apprehension, and insecurity within these secluded spaces. Based on photographs, my paintings are embedded with complex sentiments, memories, and essence. The figures and objects that inform my compositions become abstracted in the transcription of information, a correspondence between two mediums that, for me, expresses the awkwardness and discomfort felt in fond and deeply intimate relationships.