Justin Dale Olerud

Region: Northeast

In my paintings, there is a direct physical and descriptive form of interference (pigment, texture, veiling, and vandalism) within the care and consideration of image and between figure and ground. This interference relates to the idea of both opulence and cheapness.

The characters I paint are infused with these extreme polarities as well, playing iconic masculine roles: sailors, hustlers, cowboys, bikers, marble statues. Sometimes I remove them completely from their surroundings and attire, blurring personality and performance.

Even though I moved from the solitude of southern Minnesota to California and then New York, the narratives from growing up queer, on a farm, seem to be unshakable. I would wear my grandmother’s makeup and dream of other realities filled with shimmery, glitzy things.