Melissa Wilkinson

Region: South


City / State: West Memphis, AR

The title of this series of paintings, Flash Cocotte, roughly translates as “Fast tart.” Advertised on social media sites, flash cocottes are pop-up parties for queer and gender-flexible people. I appropriate existing images sourced from disco, private Tumblr accounts, and late ’70s–early ’80s “tomboys” that have informed my identity and sense of self. I further queer these images by a creating a type of reassembled painting, one that combines the masculine and the feminine. I explore micro expressions, gender play, and the simple heartfelt abandon one feels on a dance floor. This physical expression of joy and creativity gives me great hope in times of divisive tension. Even though these environments are insulated from the outside world, they still provide a safe outlet only a few know and readily access. Influenced heavily by glitch art and data moshing, I create meticulous water-media paintings that straddle the line that between abstraction and representation.