Lukey Walden

Region: MFA Annual

My paintings reconcile a desire for beauty with the clumsiness of my hand: they show how the failures of my eye are translated from my body to the painting surface. Confidence, familiarity, and insecurity are modulated through the mark making, and shift according to what’s being described. There’s a degree of awkwardness or second-hand embarrassment that’s tangible in the paintings, which comes out of a desire to give a subject the kind of care and attention they deserve. That’s an embarrassing goal and it puts you in a vulnerable position. I like to incorporate all of that discomfort. The work is informed by my experiences as a trans person to the extent that transition is a really clumsy, exposed process, and I want to protect those kinds of feelings in my paintings. I’m satisfied when a painting feels unguarded and vulnerable, or unencumbered by style.